The health of populations throughout the world is being devastated by global and national neoliberal policies. This is a consequence of the failure to address the economic, social, environmental and commercial determinants of health and confront power and unequal distribution of resources. The response to the recent financial crisis has been to ‘restore confidence’ of the same organisations that have caused the crisis in the first place. Governments have enacted an ‘austerity’ agenda cutting health and social spending, effectively deepening and reinforcing the very economic system that has resulted in the crisis in the first place. This ‘crisis’ has disproportionately affected the poor who carry the burden of the policies, increasing poverty and poor health and deepening inequalities between and within nations.

The neoliberal policies (and its ‘austerity’ agenda) impact not only on the physical but also social and psychological well being of the poor. This, coupled with the denial of dignity, was described by Cathy McCormack as our own ‘WMD’s, or ‘Weapons of Mass Demoralisation’. What was called for instead, was the development of ‘Weapons of Resistance’.

There is an urgent need to redesign our political culture and our institutions, globally and nationally. We share the vision of the global PHM for a society with relationships based on solidarity, with policies that are just and fair, that value people not financial systems, and for transformed global governance that is free of corporate influences and unaccountable private individuals. We reject evidence that does not take people’s experiences and stories into account, and value greater dialogue and collaboration between communities and research, academic and policy making agencies at different levels.Donate Test