To create a space for organisations and groups concerned about health to fashion a more effective response to Scotland’s growing health crisis
- Provide a forum for existing community and national health-related campaigns to enable exchange of knowledge and ideas
- Problem solve the relative lack of impact on political and economic decision making
- Develop thinking on the combined actions needed to effect change in decision making which impinges on health
- Inspire and build a stronger public health movement, including creating resources for those campaigning for better health for Scotland (e.g. evidence, networks and good practice)
Confirmed speakers and contributors:
Funding and Costs
The PHA is being supported by a grant from The Edge Fund contribution from the Women’s Support Project and in-kind support from our fellow contributors. We may need to ask for a small donation (£5), from those able, to help cover the costs of the catering on the day if we end up with a shortfall (but hopefully not!). This can either be via cash or an online donation and more details on how to donate will be available at the event.
Climate Fringe Festival
The PHA is running as part of the Climate Fringe Festival #ClimateFringeFestival, 10th-18th June
Pre-Assembly Social (Friday 9th June from 7pm)
Ahead of the PHA we are also hosting an informal social event at DRAM! pub, 232 Woodlands Rd, Glasgow G3 6ND. Please pop along to meet other activists ahead of the more formal discussions at the PHA. You can let us know you can come along by including a ticket for this when registering just so we know who to expect!
Why we need a People’s Health Assembly
We are in a new era of a socio-ecological polycrisis, with the climate emergency being ignored and the lives and wellbeing of millions being cast aside as we face a crushing cost-of-living crisis. There is brilliant work being done across civil society to improve the health and wellbeing of our society, but too much is focused on survival, rather than giving people alternatives and the ability to thrive. We are caught in a cycle of paying to fix what we continue to break.
We must come together to energise a paradigm shift from the grassroots and unanimously advocate systems change to support health and wellbeing of people and planet as our core aims, rather than an outdated, misguided and unfair focus on economic growth and finances.
PHMS wants to start this paradigm shift by bringing people together for a People’s Health Assembly (PHA) in 2023. The 2023 PHA will recognise the failures of current and past approaches, but more importantly highlight the breadth and depth of positive alternatives.
Scotland has its own rich tapestry of activism focused on the global, the national and the local, as well as networks of support for communities and individuals. Yet these efforts lack synergy, leading to a loss of effectiveness. We will focus on the processes of social movement building and grassroots activism in shifting from ‘surviving & coping’ (some better than others) to ‘systems change’. In bringing our voices together we hope to re-ignite solidarity in the face of detached politics.
Without a civic society movement that can highlight the positive alternatives available in policy and practice to the current neoliberal ‘common sense’ of austerity and ‘trickle down’ incompetence, the future of Scotland, independent or otherwise, is appallingly bleak. Informed critical democratic engagement is the only vaccine that can hope to address the pandemic of ‘truth decay’ that is already undermining the fundamental rights of the most vulnerable in our society and threatening the existence of future generations.
If another well-meaning event on health inequalities or climate fills you with dread or apathy, please think again! The ineffectiveness of current responses and resultant worsening outcomes can only be reimagined by a positive and united civil society.
A short history of PHAs
PHAs are based on the model of events run by PHM Global, with the last of these global PHAs taking place in 2018. The previous PHA event in Scotland was held in Edinburgh in 2014. Since then, PHMS have run other regular events and published a People’s Health Manifesto for local and national elections. Our latest report follows a recent inquiry into health inequalities in light of the COVID pandemic: All in this Together? The Impact of Covid-19 on Health Inequalities in Glasgow.
The People’s Health Movement (PHM) Scotland are a diverse group of health and social activists based in Scotland who are members of a global movement that calls for a right to health for all.