Rules of the International Health Co-op Organization (IHCO)(1997)

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)
(Source: International Health Co-operative Organisation)



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

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

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