From sickcare to healthcare

Creating Health Collaborative
UK (London)

Healthcare is underpinned by what’s sometimes defined as the ‘biomedical model: the system responds when people are sick (with treatment) or likely to become sick (through prevention). As populations age, diagnosis gets sharper and care gets ever more expensive, the model is unsustainable, argues Dr Pritpal S Tamber: “People and communities… don’t necessarily seek perfect health. They want to lead satisfying lives with definitions of satisfaction as individual as they are. Being healthy, as defined by the biomedical model, is only part of it.”

With his Creating Health Collaborative, Tamber seeks to understand health from the perspective of communities, rather than the health care systems that serve them. By doing so, he hopes to make clear that, while valuable, healthcare systems are limited when it comes to how communities think of their health. Communities’ focus on ‘life satisfaction’ goes beyond what health care systems can do, necessitating a deeper discussion on how local money is spent.

The impetus for this idea was three talks at TEDMED 2013. “America Bracho made the point that we needed to let communities shape solutions so they were culturally relevant and hence more likely to work. Sally Okun illustrated the difference in how patients describe their illness and how healthcare does, and the clear mismatch between the two. And Sue Desmond-Hellman said it as plainly as possible; citizens are the ones best placed to find the solutions in health and healthcare as they’re the ones with most at risk.”

Written by

Chris Moss (24 September 2015)


Chris Moss has been writing on travel, tech, sex, food, art and books for nearly two decades. He co-founded street paper Hecho en Buenos Aires, writes regularly for the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers, and is now writing a thriller set in Andalusia.

Project leader

Dr Pritpal S Tamber, Founder

Support the Atlas

We want the Atlas of the Future media platform and our event to be available to everybody, everywhere for free – always. Fancy helping us spread stories of hope and optimism to create a better tomorrow? For those able, we'd be grateful for any donation.

Creative Commons License



  1. francisco mata

    thank you

Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.
Get World-changing projects and news in your inbox weekly.