By The Editors
A recent editorial in the British Medical Journal (BMJ 2013;346:f2809) highlights a new social health movement for healthcare reform that may prove crucial to global health in the 21st century.
This new social health movement aims to counter a global phenomenon, clearly defined in the editorial: “The results of medical research are often distorted or suppressed for commercial gain, and systems that attempt to control clinicians’ behaviour through payment by results drive over-diagnosis and over-treatment.” In other words, it aims to counter over-diagnosis and over-treatment.
The new social health movement is based on a partnership model that affirms themes of mutual respect and combines the perspectives and resources of healthcare professionals, patient representatives, and consumer advocates.
The British Medical Journal editorial comes after an international conference held on February 2013. The conference “Selling Sickness 2013 – People Before Profits” was designed to be part of a global progressive and activist health movement and resulted in A CALL TO ACTION statement that aims to unify professionals, researchers, activists, scholars, caregivers, advocates and all citizens alarmed by disease-mongering. You can read the CALL TO ACTION ON SELLING SICKNESS here.
According to the Selling Sickness website, “The focus of the Call is twofold: first, to identify, in dramatic language, all the many aspects of disease-mongering that have alarmed us. And second, to offer a list of specific reforms that can make a difference in the state of medical science and health care.”
Interestingly, there has been some hesitancy to sign the CALL due to the energetic language used in it. However, the Selling Sickness website states that “it is that very strength, that energy born of outrage and betrayal, that has fueled Selling Sickness this far.”