@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ TITLE: Rules of the International Health Co-operative Organization (IHCO) (1997) @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- This document has been made available in electronic format by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1997 (Source: International Health Co-operative Organisation) ICA INTERNATIONAL HEALTH CO-OPERATIVE ORGANISATION (IHCO) RULES 1. Name and Status This body shall be called the International Health Co-operative Organisation (IHCO). It has the status of a Specialised Organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance. 2. Role and Structure The IHCO is a voluntary association of consumer (user) and producer (provider) health co-operatives which seek to provide high-quality, cost- effective community health care based on freedom of choice, integration of services, and ethical working conditions. 3. Objectives i. To provide a forum for the discussion and exchange on issues of relevance to its member organisations. ii. To provide information to United Nations bodies, to national governments, to the media and to public opinion about the nature and role of health co-operatives. iii. To promote the development of health co-operatives. iv. To collaborate with other Specialized Bodies of the ICA. 4. Membership i. Membership shall be open to co-operative organisations which are affiliated either directly or indirectly to the ICA and have as their main objective, the provision of health care to their members or the provision of self-employment for health professionals or the integra- tion of consumers' and producers' co-operatives in a first or higher degree co-operative structure. ii. Educational and research institutions which promote health co- operatives or related services and which are direct or indirect members of ICA are also eligible for membership. iii. Associate membership status is available, upon decision of the Board, for co-operatives which are non-members of ICA but whose activities are devoted to the provision of health services. iv. Members and associate members shall normally be national or regional organisations, except in countries where these structures do not exist. 5. General and Regional Meetings i. The IHCO shall convene a General Meeting (GM) of members every two years, normally at the time of the ICA General Assembly. Extraordinary GMs may be convened upon decision of the IHCO Board. ii. Regional meetings of members may also be convened by the Board in order to deal with regional issues. iii. A quorum for the GM is formed by a majority of delegates. The agenda shall be circulated at least six weeks before the meeting. iv. Based on the Board subscription formula, each full member organisation shall be entitled to 1, 2 or 3 delegates with 1, 2 or 3 voting rights with a maximum three delegates with 3 voting rights. v. In order to maintain an appropriate equilibrium among or within members' countries the total number of votes per country shall be established as follows: 10 votes in case where national-level co- operative organisation/members is/are a member/members of the IHCO; and 3 votes where regional or local country level organisations are members. vi. Associate members may attend the GM, without voting rights. vii. Decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of votes. The Chair- person shall have a casting vote. viii. The GM shall approve the report of the IHCO, its future work programme, financial statement, and budget. ix. The GM shall elect, a Chairperson, Vice Chairpersons, and other Board members. x. The Vice Chairpersons shall normally be nominated at the IHCO regional meetings of members in the ICA regions, and be officially elected by the GM. The GM shall elect a first Vice Chairperson, who shall come from a different region and from a different type of health co-operative (i.e. consumer or producer) than the Chairperson. 6. Board i. The Board shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice Chairpersons, and as many other members as decided by the GM. ii. A meeting of the Board shall be called, at least once per year, by the Chairperson, who shall represent the Organisation and preside over meetings of the GM and Board. iii. The Board shall be elected for a period of 4 years. Re-election shall be permitted. Vacancies shall be filled through co-option by the Board until the next GM. iv. The Board shall approve the admission of new members. v. The Board shall provide the GM with reports on the Organisation's activities, finances, work programme, and budget, and shall seek to implement any resolutions passed by the GM. vi. Extraordinary Board meetings may be called by the Chairperson or at the request of two-thirds of the IHCO's affiliated organisations. vii. The Board shall submit regular reports to the ICA, and shall invite the ICA President and Director-General, or their representative, to attend their GMs or other meetings. viii. The Board shall decide upon a subscription formula. ix. The Board shall appoint a Secretary to coordinate the IHCO's regular activities. 7. Secretariat i. A Secretary shall undertake activities according to the decisions of the Board, and shall provide the Board with regular reports on IHCO's activities and finances. ii. The Secretariat shall normally be located within the ICA Head Office, unless decided otherwise by the Board. 8. Finances i. The organisation shall be financed by the subscription payments of its members and associate members, based on subscription formula decided by the Board and approved by the GM. External funding may be sought for special activities. ii. The financial year shall be the calendar year. iii. Expenses incurred through attendance at meetings shall be borne by the member organisations. iv. Funds to cover the expenses of the Secretariat shall be included in the biennial budget which is presented by the Board for approval of the GM. 9. Implementation and Amendments These Rules shall come into effect upon their approval at the founding meeting of the members of the IHCO and by the ICA Board. They may be amended by a two-thirds majority of votes at the General Meeting. 10. Dissolution i. The Organisation may be dissolved by a three-quarters' majority of votes at the General Meeting. ii. Any GM which approves a proposal to dissolve the Organisation shall also determine how any outstanding debts are to be paid. Any remaining surplus shall be transferred to the ICA. iii. The ICA Board may also recommend to the general Assembly that the Organisation no longer be recognised as an ICA Specialised Body.