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ADAM (Asociatii De Ajutor Mutual) Mutual Help Associations


1. History

Mutual Help Associations exist for centuries:
•    Babylonians, Greeks and Romans organized these kind of Associations which offered financial, and not only financial, help to its members in personal crisis periods.  
•    In the European Middle Ages brotherhoods were started for mutual help.
•    In England these developed, becoming “friendly societies”, benefiting from the support of local authorities in the fight against poorness.
•    The French Revolution (1789) ended their existence in France and the myth that these are insurances monopolized by public administration was launched.
•    German chancellor Bismarck integrated mutual association in its strategy, this way they became the support for the implementation of national social health insurances.
•    Many other countries in Europe, including Belgium, followed this example.
•    Starting with the second half of the 19th century, mutual associations extended to Central Europe, Russia, Latin America, USA, Asia and Africa.
•    Millions of people are members of such organizations, guaranteeing these acces to a better quality of health and health services.

 After World War II, the communist system in Central Europe ended the individual initiatives and started a public health system financed directly from the state budget.
Privatization of health services coincided with the fall of communist system and installation of democracy. Public health insurances based on employers and employees’ contributions were introduced, benefiting from a certain degree of autonomy in order to develop a health policy. Still the contribution of the patient remained active, as a result of disorganization of the privatization and of the absence of a proper health policy.  In this context appeared also in Romania the first Central-European organization.

2. What is an ADAM?

An ADAM (Mutual Help Association) is a key element in the first line of health care services in a village, locality or a town.
Basic characteristics:
•    An ADAM is a social movement oriented towards the inhabitants of a village and which has an inclination for disfavored groups (sick persons, disabled persons, elders etc.);
•    An ADAM is based on solidarity between groups and individuals in society.
•    An ADAM must improve access to health services for all persons. This purpose will be reached through the cooperation with private and public health organizations. ADAM will first open the path to basic services and next to complementary services.
•    Social services can be offered to members, but there are 2 conditions:
a.    After the reach of the first objective = basic health services and access to these
b.    These must draw financial resources in order to offer complementary services.
•    An ADAM is a democratic organization opened to all citizens. It alone insures the participation of patients to all levels of health services. All members are represented in the General Assembly of ADAM. These members choose the board.
•    The elimination of a polarized social system with different types of health systems (one for the wealthy and one for the rest).
•    Cooperation with other organizations and different partners.
•    An ADAM is based on the volunteer contribution on many levels: health services, directory council, social actions and complementary ones (young people, disabled persons, elders etc.)
•    Non profit, but in the same time looking to draw income sources to survive and to be able to support itself after a period of time. All profits are reinvested in social activities for members.
•    An ADAM is independent regarding policy, religion, philosophy etc.


3.  ADAM—how it does work?

In order to be operational, an ADAM needs have fulfilled 3 basic conditions:

  1. Having an Association ADAM linked to FDAAM;
  2. Having a building;
  3. Having a family doctor.

An ADAM is a members’ organisation. They pay a contribution in solidarity, that can be used for developing the service offer. This means also that they are member of the general assembly of ADAM and choose the board.
An ADAM can conclude contracts with the regional health insurance (CJAS) to work out the first line health care. The board of the ADAM determines also a social strategy for the non-insured services (services that are not covered by the CNAS-CJAS) and for the non-insured people.
An ADAM is working in close collaboration with own, or con-tracted health care providers (family doctors (GP’s), assistants, dentists, pharmacists, …). In that contract, the tasks of the different health providers are stipulated in order to guaranty a good qualitative medicine:

  • A good quality curative and preventive medicine
  • A good accessibility (hours of consultation, duties, health prevention and promotion, affordability).









4. Possible ADAM service offer

  • Family doctor & other practitioners, stomatologist, pharma-cist;
  • Qualitative medical services;
  • Decent medical cabinets with modern equipment;
  • Medical permanence;
  • Collaboration with specialists, laboratories and hospitals(professional network);
  • Renting service for revalidation materials ;
  • Social Fund;
  • Medical checks and specialized consultancy, before and after giving birth;
  • Free new-born packages ;
  • Health education—sanitary education;
  • Leisure activities: P.C Club, Revalidation Room, Cosmetics, Info Center, Copy service;
  • Information about rights and duties of patients;
  • And much more …depending on local situation & possibili-ties.



5. Mutual Help Associations 

Harta Asociatii De Ajutor Mutual

•  ADAM Slatina-Timis (Asociatia de Ajutor Mutual Slatina-Timis) – was started in 1999...see details

•  ADAM Cluj (Asociatia de Ajutor Mutual Cluj ) – was started in 2002  ... see details
•  ADAM Moldovita (Asociatia de Ajutor Mutual Moldovita) – was started in 2007  ... see details

Others are in a preparative phase to become an ADAM (Focsani, Iasi, Resita).



6.Partners for health

A. On local level:

  • Regional authorities if possible (county, ASP, CJAS, …).
  • Local authorities (representatives of the local council) pref-erable.
  • Social organizations (women-, men-, youth-, elderly organi-zations; Trade unions, patient organizations, NGO’s, etc.)

B. On national level :

  • Surely FDAAM
  • Eventually other NGO’s or social organizations

C.From Belgian side:

  • Geels Roemeniëkomitee vzw

Belgian commune: Geel  (Belgia)
ADAM Slatina-Timis

  • Dorp voor een Dorp vzw

Belgian commune: Kruibeke  (Belgia)
ADAM Moldovita

  • CM Brugge

Belgian commune: Brugge  (Belgia)
ADAM Cluj-Napoca

  • CM Namen

Belgian commune: Namen  (Belgia)


7. ADAM Slatina-Timis (Asociatia de Ajutor Mutual Slatina-Timis)

 ADAM Slatina Timis ADAM Slatina Timis is a non-governmental and non-profit organization, that was started with the help of various organizations fro Belgium and with the help of FDAAM from Romania...see details

8.  ADAM Cluj (Asociatia de Ajutor Mutual Cluj )

ADAM  Cluj was started in the year 2001 as a result of an initiative of a group of Romanian and Belgian founders, having the purpose of developing the mutuality model from Belgium....see details

9. ADAM Moldovita   (Asociatia de Ajutor Mutual Moldovita)

ADAM Moldovita

The purpose of the Mutual Help Association ADAM Moldovita is the improvement of life quality for the inhabitants of the village through the economic-social and cultural development....see details


ADAM Leaflet download ADAM Leaflet (pdf,1 Mb)



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