Grants / Projects we are funding

Medact – Advocating for a Health-Centred Economic and Political System

Grant details


Awarded on:11/06/2019

Duration:2 years


Area of interest

Systems change

Themes covered

New economics

After 10 years of austerity, the UK is one of the most unequal countries in Europe. This is reflected in the lived experience of individuals and marginalised communities. Healthcare workers are some of the first to see the impact of an unequal society through the ways in which issues like food insecurity, precarious employment, high housing costs and reduced public services are affecting their patients. Health data is one of the most effective ways of assessing structural inequality.

And yet, healthcare workers are too often left out of the analysis, design and advocacy for policies that could transform the way our economy functions and bring about a more equal society. Many health workers feel unprepared to intervene in macro-economic discussions, and where economics is looked at through a health lens, often the structural analysis needed to address the root causes of inequality and ill-health is missing. This means that health workers are not playing the part they could play in challenging the dominant political and economic systems which influence health inequality over the long term.

What will the project try to achieve?
Medact’s overall aim in this project is to develop a group of healthcare workers who have a clear analysis of the systemic changes needed to create a more equal society, and to empower them to intervene effectively in political discussions about health and economics. During the course of the project they will identify a specific policy target on which healthcare workers can lead a strategic campaign for economic transformation in solidarity with grassroots groups and impacted communities. Through doing this they will also seek to challenge the idea that a health professional’s role should focus solely on individual patient care, and make clear that a public health approach to economic policies is essential for us to challenge inequality, and its root causes.

Who might be interested in this project?
Healthcare workers and health academics interested in working for a more equal society. People from all backgrounds campaigning for systemic change to reduce inequality and ensure everyone can lead a good and healthy life. Economists interested in putting health at the centre of their analysis of systemic change. Ultimately, Medact hopes this work will be of interest to policymakers, and will help to put political decision-makers under necessary pressure to change the systems which create the root causes of inequality.