The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into stark relief the serious health inequalities that exist both in the UK and across the world. In response we have seen incredible kindness, and witnessed all kinds of actions to both serve our both communities immediate needs, and to tackle some of the inequalities that threaten to worsen the problem.

We are very grateful to the health community at this time of great need. We know that many of our members are going to be at the frontline, working incredibly hard and facing unprecedented and immediate challenges. Our team is here to support the Medact community in whatever way we can.

We recognise that this time requires an adaptive and emergent approach to a quickly-changing situation. What follows is our best attempt to capture and organise some of the responses from the health community.

We will be updating it as regularly as we can.

Steps we’re taking at Medact

Campaigning on inequality

We will be adjusting our approach to campaigning in the coming months to give more focus to supporting campaigns that seek to address the health inequalities intersecting with COVID-19.

Our public health is only as strong as our economic and social fabric. Join our action

Campaigning on Access to Healthcare

We are demanding a suspension of the hostile environment to make it safer to migrants to access healthcare.

We are also supporting BID’s letter to The UK home Office calling for release of all people in immigration detention to prevent increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Mutual Aid

We’ve produced a range of useful resources aimed at mutual aid groups to ensure that people are aware of the issues facing undocumented migrants and can provide support in a safe and helpful way. we also collected all this info into a blog that we’ve published along with Migrants Organise. You can read it here.

Adapting how we conduct our work

We have postponed our conference and our Movement Builder is in touch with group coordinators to support alternative ways of campaigning at this time. We have a working document, Medact Groups Online Facilitation Guide.

Join our webinars

On world health day we are teaming up with People’s Health Movement UK on a  series of webinars where front line activists, academics, public health experts, and journalists, come together to engage in a discussion looking at the coronavirus pandemic from a health justice stand and what a socially just response needs to be. You’ll hear from some incredible activists, academics and healthcare workers alongside our Economic Justice Campaigner, Siddhartha, and our Access to Healthcare Campaigner, James.

Come along to our World Health Day Webinar

COVID-19 will also have major implications for planetary health. Getting our climate messaging and actions right during and after the pandemic will be crucial for the climate movement. Medact is hosting a Climate, Health and COVID-19 webinar on Wednesday 8th April at 7pm to explore these issues and share some of the thinking that is happening on this in climate and health spaces.

Register for our “Climate, Health & COVID-19” webinar on Wednesday 8th April at 7pm

 Other things you can do

Adding health voice to key campaigns

We would urge you to add your voice support the following campaigns:

  1. Petition calling for testing frontline NHS staff for COVID-19 as a priority, on Change.org
  2. Protect Renters Now petition, hosted by Acorn
  3. An open letter to Matt Hancock on the Private Healthcare announcement calling for the ‘deal’ to be made public
  4. You can sign this petition calling on Israel to lift its blockade and deliver sufficient medical supplies to Gaza
  5. You can sign this letter to ask the government to make any COVID-19 vaccine affordable for all

If you are leading a campaign on which a collective health voice may be helpful, please get in touch.

We can also offer support to health workers who want to raise concerns and tell their stories in the media, or pitching them to journalists. Please get in touch with us – office@medact.org

Do you have a campaign idea?

We recognise that health workers are the eyes and ears, at the frontline; and are working at capacity. If you’re a health worker who has an idea for a campaign you would like Medact to support or take leadership on, please get in touch. We can provide the platform, and movement building support.

Other useful resources

We will be regularly updating this site and releasing new actions related to our climate and peace and security work.

Aiyan Maharasingam
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