Sessions from Health in Action 2014


Opening session and welcome

1. Welcome

Gill Walt, Medact Patron and LSHTM

2. Medact, HPA and this conference

David McCoy, Medact Director

3. Launch of Global Health Watch 4

Ron Labonte, University of Ottawa

Medact Forum 2014: Opening Session

Session Two: Health & Politics: Comparative Aspects

1. Austerity Bites: Global Health in the UK
Mary O’Hara, author of Austerity Bites
2. Influencing politics through health and medicine: the work of Medico International in Germany
Thomas Gebauer, Medico International
3. Bridging divides: India and the UK; academia and social activism; professionals and communities
Anuj Kapilashrami, Peoples Health Movement and Queen Margaret University

Medact Forum 2014: Session 2 – Health & Politics: Comparative Aspects

Session Four: The War On Drugs: Failures, Impacts, and Alternatives, and the Future of Public Health

1.The Negative impact of international drug policies on health and the alternatives 
Niamh Eastwood
2. A doctors account of the impact of drug policies in the UK
Dr. Judith Yates
3. Drug policy: a crucial issue for the development sector 
Julia Buxton (via video)
4. NGO’s and the links between drug policy and inequality, trade justice, tax justice and human rights. 
Martin Drewry
Medact Forum 2014: The Spirit Level Documentary Workshop & The War on Drugs closing session


Theories of Social Change  

When it comes to making change happen, even people who want the same outcome might have different ideas about how to get there. Why? Because we hold differing beliefs as to how change happens—as well as how change ought to happen. As Medact begins to develop some of its public campaigns on tax avoidance, divestment and tackling the food industry, how do we decide what approach to take? Using discussion and reflection, this workshop gave participants the chance to learn to identify different theories of change, which they can then work into a successful campaign strategy – and make change happen for real.

Facilitated by Amy Mount – Green Alliance

Medical Investigative Journalism

This workshop explored how health activists can work with journalists to help improve health – particularly when it involves taking on vested interests. The workshop ran through gaining access to documents and some of the basic skills involved in investigating corporations.  It detailed some real life examples of collaboration between health activists and journalists that have helped drive policy change.

Facilitated by Deborah Cohen – BMJ

Medact Forum 2014: Workshops – Theories of Social Change & Investigative Journalism with the BMJ

PFI: Crippling the NHS

Building on the launch of the national People vs PFI campaign on November 1st, Medact offered another chance to learn about the Private Finance Initiative (PFI): What is it? Who profits from it? And how is PFI debt killing of our NHS? Attendees learnt about the companies involved in PFI in their local area – who owns and runs them, how much profit they are making – and found out about the skills we can all gain in taking on PFI.

Facilitated by Lucy Reynolds – LSHTM & Richard Whittell – Corporate Watch

Medact Forum 2014: Workshop – PFI Crippling the NHS

Ebola: what caused the current outbreak and how do we prevent another crisis

This workshop explained why Medact’s broad approach to global health is important by analysing a single issue: Ebola. It also gave an insight into Health Poverty Action’s work aimed at strengthening poor and marginalised people in their struggle for health by challenging the structures that keep people in poverty. This workshop explained the social, political, environmental and economic determinants that created the conditions for this ebola outbreak to become a crisis in West Africa. We discussed the impact of land grabs, blood diamonds, unfair trade policies and the wholesale theft of Africa’s resources. We then looked in more detail at the reasons behind the spread of the disease in West Africa. We then watched a brief video update from Regina Bash-Taqi HPA’s country director in Sierra Leone.

Facilitated by David McCoy – Medact & Regina Bash-Taqi – HPA country director for Sierra Leone

Access to the NHS for migrants and refugees: what you need to know as a junior doctor

Who is entitled to free NHS care and who is not? Which NHS services may be chargeable and which are exempt from charging? What is meant by ‘urgent’ and ‘immediately necessary’ care? Dr Ina Schim va der Loeff gave a workshop at the Medact Forum 2014 on what you need to know as a junior doctor about access to the NHS for migrants and refugees.

Facilitated by Ina Schim van der Loeff  – University College London

Medact Forum 2014: Workshops – Ebola & Access to the NHS for refugee's

The Spirit Level Documentary – harnessing the power of film to enact change

This documentary demonstrated the power of film to raise awareness and enact change. We had have two presentations:

The first was given by Katharine Round, who was inspired by the best-selling book “The Spirit Level”, to produce what is set to be a groundbreaking documentary tackling the issue of inequality and social injustice. The second presentation was given by Jason Hickel, who produced a low-budget video on global inequality that has been viewed half a million times. Using their two exceptional experiences, we hoped to collaborate with the audience in order to produce a storyboard for a prospective documentary on Ebola and the social and economic determinants of health.

Chaired by Will Horwitz – Changing London & Facilitated by Katharine Round – Producer/Director & Jason Hickel – London School of Economic