Annual Public Health Lecture

  • Special Lunchtime Lecture – People’s (Primary) Health Care: Revisiting the Alma-Ata Conference and its ongoing implications

    Anne-Emanuelle Birn 

    Professor of Critical Development Studies and Global Health, University of Toronto. Her books include: OUP’s Textbook of Global Health; Comrades in Health: US Health Internationalists, Abroad and at Home and Marriage of Convenience: Rockefeller International Health and Revolutionary Mexico

    For 40 years, the 1978 WHO-UNICEF International Conference on Primary Health Care, and its famed Declaration of Alma-Ata, have served as aspirational grist for progressive-minded international and global health advocates. They have also generated a series of myths and assumptions around how the conference (and declaration) came about, the role of various players from WHO, the Soviet Union, and beyond, and the disappointing aftermath. This talk will revisit the making of Alma-Ata, its dashed hopes, and its continuing resonance for contemporary global health, including current debates around ‘universal health coverage’.

    Monday, 5th November 2018 at 1.00 pm
    Venue:  John Snow Lecture Theatre B, LSHTM, Keppel Street Building

    RSVP to Ingrid James 020-7927-2434 or

    Funded by the Wellcome Trust

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  • Annual Lecture – Sally Sheard – ‘Why we are waiting: exploring the political economy of the NHS’


    Ancoats Hospital Outpatients’ hall, 1952

    Peaceful, orderly, and sometimes stoical waiting is a quintessentially British phenomenon. It has been a feature of the NHS since its first day. Yet there have been times when the subliminal trade-off of free treatment in return for rationing by waiting has surfaced as individual and political crises: visible in encounters between doctors and patients, and between NHS authorities and politicians. The history of waiting illuminates key shifts in NHS governance and accountability.

    Speaker: Sally Sheard

    Sally Sheard is the Andrew Geddes and John Rankin Professor of Modern History, with an appointment divided between the Department of Public Health and Policy and the Department of History. She is a health policy and medical historian, with a special interest in the interface between expert advisers and policymakers. She is a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, leading a five year project (2015-2020): The Governance of Health: medical, economic and managerial expertise in Britain since 1948, and Director of the Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences of Health Medicine and Technology [CHSSoHMT]. Sally has written on the history of hospitals, the finance of British medicine, the development of the NHS and medical education.

    Background Information on the Annual Lecture series

    The Centre for History in Public Health’s Annual Lecture is an opportunity to hear from a leading historian about a matter of interest to public health researchers, policy makers and practitioners. In the lecture, speakers present historical perspectives on current problems and issues. Former speakers include Professor Roberta Bivins (University of Warwick) on the similarities and differences between US and UK health services; Nicholas Timmins (Kings Fund) on the establishment of NICE; and Professor David Rosner (Columbia, USA) on disease and the courts. A list of former lectures can be found here.

    Tuesday, 6 November 2018, 17.30

     John Snow Lecture Theatre B, LSHTM, Keppel Street Building

    (Followed by a reception in the café area)

    To attend RSVP to Ingrid James 020-7927-2434 or

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