Politics of Health

The original Politics of Health Group (PoHG) existed for about ten years from the mid-1970s through to the mid-1980s. It was established as a discussion group to take forward emergent understandings of the social political and economic determinants of health which had been highlighted through the earlier work of the Unit for the Study of Health Policy at Guys Hospital, amongst others.

These issues gained heightened attention following the publication of the Black Report in 1980 which ‘rediscovered’ the existence and persistence of inequalities in health within the UK. The Politics of Health Group affiliated to the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science at an early stage of its existence. It created a number of working groups, to look at specific determinants of health and health inequalities (such as food, the environment and occupation) which worked closely with other groups affiliated independently to BSSRS.

Hit 3bar menu top left to access all BSSRS online archive

PoHG produced 'Food and Profit' leaflet in the late seventies raising many of the issues we talk about today.

and followed up the SfP on Food Farm & Finance. The complete pamphlet can be downloaded from the files at the bottom of this page.

The Politics of Health Group was recently re-constituted as a web-based discussion group publishing occasional discussion papers and making regular contributions to journals such as Health Matters.

Politics of Health Group 2

The re-constituted Politics of Health Group (PoHG2) consists of people who believe that power exercised through politics and its impact on public policy is of fundamental importance for health. PoHG2 is a UK based group but with a clear international perspective and members throughout the world.

Core principles:

PoHG2 believes that the opportunity for good health is the fundamental human right. It is the responsibility of governments to strive for equitable social, economic and environmental conditions in which the health of all can thrive. PoHG's charter sets out in full sixteen principles that should guide political action and policy development for health.

PoHG2 wants:

- The elimination of suffering caused by bad public policy

- To build better understanding of the political causes and consequences of health and ill health

- The promotion of health to be a central concern of politics so that public policy and social interventions focus on improving health

- Health services developed in accordance with the principles set out in the PoHG charter