Mar del Plata, Argentina - The 5th People's Health Assembly (PHA 5) brought together over 600 activists from 60 countries, including health activists, indigenous advocates, and healthcare workers, for a critical dialogue on the future of global health.

Under the theme "Health for all in a 'post-pandemic' world: Challenges and strategies for health social movements," attendees delved into pressing issues such as financialization, privatization, and the encroachment of transnational capital into health systems.


Nicoletta Dentico, SID Director of the Global Health Programme, delivered a keynote speech on the intersection of economics and health equity. Her address echoed the sentiments of the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978, emphasizing the importance of a new international economic order in achieving health for all.

“Economic and social development, based on a New International Economic Order, is of basic importance to the fullest attainment of health for all and to the reduction of the gap between the health status of the developing and developed countries.”

- Alma Ata Declaration, WHO, September 1978

Dentico highlighted the alarming trend of health financialization, where the commodification of healthcare has prioritized profit over public health. She shed light on the ways in which financial institutions have wielded unprecedented influence, shaping health policies and subjugating health goals to financial interests. Moreover, she underscored the detrimental impact of public-private partnerships (PPPs) on health systems, pointing out their misrepresentation and broken promises. She then called for a reevaluation of neoliberal policies entrenched in multilateral development institutions, urging a shift towards more equitable and sustainable financial policies.

Key messages:

  • Reclaiming Health as a Fundamental Right: emphasis on the need to prioritize health as a fundamental human right, rather than a commodity subject to market forces.

  • Challenging Neoliberal Policies: call for a reevaluation of neoliberal policies that prioritize profit over people's well-being, urging a shift towards more equitable and sustainable financial policies.

  • Resisting Health Financialization: focus on the dangers of health financialization, where the pursuit of profit undermines public health goals. 

As the discussions at PHA 5 concluded, the journey towards health for all continues. Following the many debates held prior and during the Assembly, a Call to Action was launched, outlining the demands and commitments of the People’s Health Movement. It envisions a world where all individuals can enjoy dignified lives with access to comprehensive and quality health and education systems. This vision, rooted in principles of equity and social justice, serves as a guiding force for health activists worldwide.

For more information on the PHA 5 Call to Action and the People’s Health Movement, visit their website here.