People’s health movement arrives in Portugal

People’s Health Alliance has mushroomed from a start in UK to become a global initiative sparking interest across 31 countries

As State health services throughout the developed world appear to all to be crumbling in unison, the People’s Health Alliance has begun taking its first steps towards “giving people the health care they deserve”.

“We started with a simple vision for the future, to decentralise health care and educate people to take ownership of their health choices. A future where Big Pharma (and Big Everything) no longer has control over We, The People; where the power of choice is returned to the individual and we shift the paradigm from treating disease, to creating health”, says the website. 

Word has spread fast, suggesting communities are very open to this approach. These days there are virtual and physical health hubs’  across six continents, from Australia to the US, Portugal to Canada.

The core group in Portugal is just getting started, Sarah Chave, based in the centre of the country, told us . Thus the focus on reaching out to test the waters.

“One of the challenges we have is in attracting local people. We have a few Portuguese practitioners on board, and a few Portuguese members already – but we want to spread the word, and bring in more. The last thing we want is for this group to be seen as ‘ex-pat’ or for English-speakers only. It is for everyone”, she said.

Interest has been flagged in Lisbon, the Algarve, various parts of the central district. There are already ‘online’ discussions, and events – including ‘drop in’ slots for people struggling with mental health (now redubbed ‘mental well being’).

As Sarah Chave explains, it is not just a question of bringing health practitioners, carers, etc. onboard. The group also needs specialists in admin/ IT/ web design, even finance.

Right now contact is through a Telegram group: a website is under construction, as are various social media pages.

Focus is on creating an integrated approach to health: a place where people can go and know they will receive answers/ help, even if their reason for being in touch will eventually require conventional hospital treatment.

“We’re not here to tell you what to do”, says the blurb. “We’re here to facilitate your ideas, inspirations and creations within your local communities. We’re about collaboration, education and facilitation. Quite simply, we want to see The People Unite!”

This is a fresh approach to ‘health care within the community’ – and right now, it is looking to build its powerbase in Portugal, to give people a real alternative to the current systems that are invariably slow-moving and overloaded.

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