The Wellthcare Manifesto
Wellthcare was an exploration.
It started in February 2013 and ended - at least in this form - in October 2014. It was pioneered by me, Pritpal S Tamber, accompanied by an eclectic group of thinkers and doers called the Wellthcare Explorers.
Wellthcare was an attempt to find new ways to create and value health. It started with a simple thought: the demand for health care has outstripped supply and will continue to do so. It made us want to explore whether we can create health; in due course we realised it was possible through community.
Wellth did not feel like wellness to us. Wellness, we felt, is created by incentive programmes aimed at individuals with a view to reducing long-term risk of disease, all valued within existing health care costs. Wellth was about working at the community level, creating immediately realisable forms of health, all valued differently to how health care is costed.
We learnt a lot along the way, including that health care contributes only 10-20% to what we call health, the rest comes from our genes, behaviours, social factors and the environment. Much of our learning was captured in four reports (see PDFs 1, 2, 3, 4), an ongoing Log, and descriptions of organisations we thought created ‘wellth’. It was fascinating stuff.
Wellthcare was a useful vehicle for our exploring but in the end the name held it back, something I describe in my final post. The Explorers and I have moved on to the next parts of our journeys. We’re leaving this website up, though; its richness discoverable through the links in this text. And we’re proud to lead with the Wellthcare Manifesto, a document that we think will stand the test of time.
Pritpal S Tamber
And the Wellthcare Explorers
Background To The Manifesto
Health care is in crisis.
The profession and industry is organised around the idea of seeing a 'deficit' in someone's health, and then 'doing something' about it, such as intervening with drugs, procedures and advice.
This approach has worked well for emergencies and infections, but is less effective against the growing burden of lifestyle-related chronic conditions.
The growth in chronic conditions has been fuelled by tobacco, poor diet, physical inactivity and the harmful consumption of alcohol. Health care's 'deficit model' is poorly equipped to deal with these challenges.
We cannot afford to keep supplying more health care, much of which is ineffective against lifestyle-related diseases. We need to break the cycle of living in ways that drive the demand for more and more health care.
To do that, we need to create health.
At Wellthcare we believe that new sources of health-related value resides in our networks, communities, and contexts. We call this value Wellth.
The Wellthcare Explorers would like to thank the following people for their feedback on earlier versions of the Manifesto (alphabetical by surname): Charlotte Alldritt, Dan Simmons, Richard Smith, Lissanthea Taylor and Tim Williams.
Logos: James O'Loughlin
Website: Scripted Pixels
Despatch 1 design: Luke Moran Morris
Despatch 2 design: James O'Loughlin
Despatch 3 design: James O'Loughlin
Despatch 4 design: The Tiny Agency
Illustrations within Despatch 2: Sam Ashton
Pritpal's profile shot: Mike Massaro