Monday 13 June 2011

Welcome to the "Health in Transition" theme week

Health is big news at the moment; every day it seems there are discussions on the Coalition's plans to "shake-up" the NHS, with each side putting their point of view across. Meanwhile, campaigning organisation 38 Degrees is running the "Save the NHS" campaign - over 400,000 people so far have signed up their petition, concerned that the so called shake-up will destroy the foundations of the National Health Service. I'll declare a certain partisanship here - I feel the NHS is something we as a society can be rightly proud of - available to all, free at the point of need, and run for the public good, not for profit - and I think that the government should be listening to what health professionals are saying about the reforms.

But health isn't just about the NHS, and, in true "This Low-Carbon Life" fashion, we're going to explore on the blog this week some of the many facets of health in the 21st Century, set against the backdrop of transition themes of peak oil, transition to a low-carbon society and the current economic challenges.

I've reflected before on this blog as to how our modern mainstream health services appear energy and carbon intensive - I haven't seen anything to make me think this will change. How might the provision of health services change in a world where oil prices rocket as availability diminishes? What will be the effect of legally-binding carbon targets on our health provision?

And what about health in a micro-context? If you look at your own body, it's an ecosystem as complicated and interwoven as any of the environments we see in the world, and is also kept in a delicate balance; all too easy to disrupt in our modern world, either through the physical, mental and emotional stresses we subject it to, or through the chemicals, benign or toxic, that are so prevalent in our modern environment.

This week on the blog, we're going to explore some of these themes. Tomorrow we'll start by taking a look at a groundbreaking initiative using nature to help people with mental health challenges.


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