Briefing 3: The Ecology of Health

In this Schumacher Briefing, Robin Stott proposes solutions to the key problems which beset our present health system. He argues that if we are to develop a true public health service rather than a ‘disease service’, we must make radical changes to its decision-making processes. We need to acknowledge the health impact of many factors, including the distribution of wealth, the size of communities, lifestyle issues, local pollution, and the condition of the whole planet. The Briefing shows how enhanced interaction between people can contribute to health promotion, social justice and environmental improvements. It also sets out a blueprint for developing local organisations for the pursuit of health which could become units of local governance.

Robin Stott is a medical doctor who has studied both Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and has also worked in Zimbabwe with traditional healers. He is involved in a number of organisations which are trying to improve communication and understanding between the various health systems. He is chairman of the UK Medical Peace and Environment Group (Medact), and speaker of the Council of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). He has been a consultant general physician at Lewisham Hospital since 1975, and was Medical Director of the hospital from 1985 to 1997.