The World Health Organization (WHO) states, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  A Canadian health co-op is any co-op that works towards every individual and community in Canada being in this state of physical, mental and social well-being.

The WHO states that the social determinants of health are, in order of importance:  social connections, clean water, nutritious food, the means of accessing these necessities of life, and, finally, health care services.   It describes health care as prevention of illness and accident, diagnosis, treatment and care, and rehabilitation.   Wellness, social services and health co-ops in Canada cover all of these areas.  For some HCCFC members this is their only work.   For others these services are part of a larger picture.  In addition some co-ops focus on providing insurance to cover care that is beyond the provincial health plans.