Global Health Watch

Global Health Watch 6: About

We have entered the third consecutive year of the worst pandemic in a century. The misery and devastation caused in the last two years has rattled most of us, although the virus is not solely to blame. Drug companies’ greed, health system privatization, weakened global governance, and the inadequacy of public health systems – all contributed to people’s suffering. Some of the world’s richest nations neglected the health rights of poorer countries to access vaccines, medicines, and other COVID-19 medical tools. Increases in already high levels of global inequality and injustice characterized the pandemic response.

Global Health Watch 6 (GHW6) examines these issues through a political-economic lens, showing connections between the social, economic, political, commercial and environmental determinants of health and the structure of global power relations and economic governance. Similar analysis has been the strength of previous editions, and the GHW series has been hailed across the world for that reason. Importantly, as with previous editions, GHW6 describes and emphasizes the importance of people’s ongoing struggles towards the goal of “Health for All.” The narratives of resistance and social movement activism are spread throughout the book and set it apart from other writing in this field. The book reflects on what these interwoven stories of hope and change mean for a progressive, post-pandemic health activism.

PHM will have its own copies available for PHM constituents and allies to organise launch events across the world. If you are interested to organise a launch, we can ship 20 to 30 books and you will only bear the cost of shipping. Get in touch with Chiara Bodini at and Jyotsna Singh at

What is Global Health Watch (GHW)?

Global Health Watch: the definitive voice for an alternative discourse on health

Since its first edition in 2005, GHW had been widely perceived as the definitive voice critically reporting on the state of the world’s health. It is published every three or four years commenting on the latest developments in global health while focusing on continuities with popular struggles from the past. The current edition draws heavily on analyses of the global health inequities that the pandemic has revealed, but it is not limited to that. It is designed to question present policies on health and to propose alternatives through new analysis and accounts of progressive social activism.

The 6th edition is published by Bloomsbury, which acquired Zed Books, the publisher of the five previous editions.

Who is involved in GHW6?

GHW6 is co-produced by People’s Health Movement, Medact, Third World Network, Health Poverty Action, Medico International, ALAMES, Viva Salud and Sama. More than 120 public health experts, non-governmental organizations, civil society activists, community groups, health workers and academics from 28 countries contributed to the final book, giving shape to its content and analyses.

What does GHW6 cover?

Through its four sections, GHW6 covers diverse issues related to the global political and economic architecture, pandemic lessons for health systems, emergent issues in the social and environmental determinants of health, and pandemic influences on global health governance. Unlike previous editions, which had a concluding section as a rallying cry for health activists everywhere, the story of health activism is woven into every chapter of this new edition.

We call upon all progressive health movements and NGOs to disseminate the evidence and analysis in GHW6.


Introduction (free to read online)

A1 From pre-pandemic pathologies to post-pandemic hopefulness

A2 Gendered inequities during COVID-19 times: a view from the Global South

A3 From unethical growth to ethical degrowth: can capitalism be transformed?

B1 The Universal Health Coverage/Primary Health Care divide

B2 Global Health 2.0? Digital technologies, disruption, and power

B3 Healthcare and COVID-19: privatization by stealth

B4 Old/new politics of access to medicines

B5 Transforming mental healthcare globally

C1 Austerity rerun

C2 Unequal labor markets meet a disequalizing pandemic

C3 Confronting the commercial determinants of health .

C4 Development model, extractivism, and environment: knitting resistances globally

C5 Transforming food systems for healthy people and a healthy planet

C6 Conflict and health in the era of coronavirus

D1 WHO and the politics of pandemics

D2 Shifting playing fields: how new trade treaties govern governments

D3 The United Nations, global governance, and the toll of funding failures

D4 Watching the international financial institutions: new rhetoric, old practice?

D5 The World Economic Forum’s Great Reset: corporate ambitions and the future of multilateralism    in and beyond global health

Conclusion: Building power in the struggle for health (justice): a call to health activists