Building PHM in Scotland

25 Mar 2013

You are invited to participate in a big discussion on how we can join forces and build a People's Health Movement (PHM) in Scotland mobilised around social, political and economic issues affecting health, with equity and justice at its heart. The current attack on these principles within the NHS and the welfare system in England and similar trends in Scotland have added urgency to mobilising around such a movement.

A planning meeting which will be held at Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh on 26th March, 10am to 12pm and you are warmly invited to attend. To build a movement on health and social justice issues it is imperative that we start with communities and civil society groups representing them. We therefore sincerely hope you are able to make it to the meeting and be part of this process in Scotland. For more details on the purpose of the meeting (and background on PHM), please read on. 


The People's Health Movement (PHM) is a global network bringing together grassroots health activists, civil society organizations and academic institutions from around the world. PHM currently has presence in around 70 countries. The movement emerged from the discontent among activists, academics, practitioners with the emerging global order, growing inequities across the world, and the failure to meet the promises of the Alma Ata declaration, which promised Health for ALL by the year 2000. Since the 1st People's Health Assembly held in Dhaka in 2000, the movement has expanded in its outreach both in geographical terms as well as its impact on local and global issues. See PHM website for further details.


Mirroring the third global People's Health Assembly in Cape town in July 2012, some of us organised and participated in our very first UK Peoples Health Assembly in Nottingham on 10-11 July. The purpose of this first assembly, which witnessed participation from different civil society groups, activist networks and academic institutions, was to create a forum for individuals and organisations to come together to discuss the continued development of a 'health movement' in the UK. Specifically, to participate in restoring the NHS to its founding principles; learn from leading experts about the local and global determinants of health; network with organisations and individuals involved in activism on health and social justice issues and, take part in developing a UK People's Health Manifesto. <>

We had specific panels (please see for summary reports on the discussion) on - Social and Political determinants; Economic determinants; People's centred Health systems; Conflict & Environmental Issues; and Social Movements. The concluding session at the Nottingham assembly underscored the need to expand this dialogue to different constituencies and networks across UK and prioritise local and regional mobilisation around specific priorities identified by people themselves before linking up nationally and globally. An inclusive, participatory and bottom up approach to movement building demands your inputs in every stage of this process- planning, strategizing, grassroots mobilising and acting/ advocating/ campaigning. Few of us who were present at the Nottingham Assembly have taken on the task of initiating the process in Scotland, which we very much hope will develop as a collective and democratic forum.


The objective of the Planning Meeting in Scotland is therefore to -

1. Understand the vision, objective and strategies adopted by the Peoples Health Movement worldwide
2. Learn from each other's work; identify local priorities for health and social justice and a shared vision for health in Scotland
3. Strategise how we, as a collective, can build a people's movement in Scotland, clarify its aim, and links with the UK wide and global movement

PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR PARTICIPATION ASAP SO THAT APPROPRIATE ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE MADE. A more detailed agenda will be circulated as soon as we hear from you.

(on behalf of the evolving Scottish Group for the UK PHM)


For more information contact Anuj on anuj.kapilashrami [at]

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