Tuesday 3 July 2012
Nottingham to host debate on health and social justice
People's Health Movement
Health practitioners, health and social activists, campaigners, human rights defenders and academics will meet to host the first UK People’s Health Assembly in Nottingham on July 10-11. The event, being held at Nottingham Trent University, aims to create a forum for individuals and organisations to develop a global social health movement in the UK.
The assembly will involve discussion and debate around the social, economic and political determinants of global health and the major challenges from issues such as conflict and war, economics and climate change.
Groups and stakeholders will work together during the assembly with the ultimate aim of producing the first draft of a UK People’s Health Manifesto – intended to be a collective vision for a better global society.
A key aim is to demonstrate how issues around health and health equity can provide an important and strategic platform for action for wider networks and campaigns, against poverty, welfare cuts, and in solidarity with other social movements.
The assembly has been organised by academics and health activists from the UK, including staff from Nottingham Trent University’s School of Social Sciences and School of Arts and Humanities, who are affiliated to the People’s Health Movement network. The event, at Nottingham Conference Centre, will mirror the 3rd World Health Assembly being held in South Africa and will link up by video to discuss emerging issues from both continents.
Dr Linda Gibson, a senior lecturer in public health at Nottingham Trent University, said: "We want all stakeholders from all sectors of society interested in health to come together to discuss how to move collectively to overcome the barriers towards achieving health for everyone. This is intended to be a shared platform to discuss, understand and articulate cross-cutting issues of health, social justice and the state of democracy.
"We want to debate vital issues, such as how best to start restoring the NHS to its founding principles, for example. We will also aim to produce a draft manifesto, which will be a statement of the shared vision, goals, principles, demands and calls for action that will unite all the members of the movement."
Dr Roy Smith, the programme leader for Nottingham Trent University’s MA in international development, said: "The event will be a great opportunity to highlight various aspects of globalisation and the impacts they have on health. The intention is to look at these issues at both the national and global levels. Being able to link directly to the Cape Town meeting adds a particularly exciting dimension to the scope for discussion, debate and activism."
Dr Anuj Kapilashrami, an organiser from the Global Public Health Unit at the University of Edinburgh, said: "In the current wave of neoliberalism and conservatism fundamental rights to health, livelihoods, and social welfare are under threat. Only an alternative and radical people’s movement founded on principles of equity, justice and community participation can address the diverse challenges we face today."
Speakers at the event will include John Lister, health journalist and director of London Health Emergency and Allyson Pollock, Professor of Public Health Research and Policy and author of NHS plc and co-author of The New NHS: A Guide.
Notes to editors:
For more on the People’s Health Assembly visit here
More information on the People’s Health Movement visit here
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