Intended for healthcare professionals


Global Health Watch: Challenging entrenched ideas in global health

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 02 March 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k956
  1. Anuj Kapilashrami, lecturer in global health policy1,
  2. Ted Schrecker, professor of global health policy2
  1. 1University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
  1. Correspondence to: A Kapilashrami anuj.kapilashrami{at}

New report compels us to think differently and push for radical social change

The discursive and policy realms now identified as global health sometimes seem to unfold in parallel universes. In one universe, a Lancet Commission argues the possibility of worldwide convergence on health outcomes by 2035, while devoting just one paragraph to social determinants of health.1 The lead authors are former senior staff of the World Bank, an institution often associated with a destructive preoccupation with cost effectiveness in “resource poor settings” and promotion of socially devastating requirements for structural adjustment.23

In the other universe, less occupationally secure researchers focus on questions such as why some settings are resource poor and others are not,4 and on the “power asymmetries” that characterise the proliferating mechanisms of global governance that affect health.56

Since 2005 a transnational network of researchers and campaigners broadly sharing this second view, operating on a shoestring budget, has periodically produced Global Health Watch as an …

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