Back To Top


Health Care Co-Ops In Uganda

by George C. Halvorson

Nearly two dozen Ugandan villages actually set up their own self-sustaining very local health care co-ops with support from the Health Partners care teams and cooperative business leadership in Minnesota.

Each village set up its own co-op, with its own local board and its own local membership. Each plan was a self governing group. They each created their own local success. The co-ops each directly recruited and enrolled enough people in each village to create a financially viable local risk pool in each setting — enrolling healthy people in each village as well as enrolling the people with diabetes, HIV infections and current pregnancies who needed immediate care in each village.

Each co-op set up their own marketing team and each village created their own benefit plan and their own enrollment guidelines and underwriting rules.

The co-ops succeeded because they had the support of their members and because they offered a service that people in each village needed — affordable health care.

The basic principals and component parts that are needed to set up a self-sustaining health plan in a Ugandan village are very much like the principals needed to set up a financially viable care payment plan anywhere. Common sense and hard work made the Uganda program a success.

Creating a collaborative sense of “us” was a central part of that success story in each village. Many of the community organizing principals and strategies that are explained in Primal Pathways, Peace In Our Time, and The Art of InterGroup Peace are shown as real world working tools on a village level in this book about Health Care Co-Ops in Uganda.