Founder's Message

January 27, 2014
Health is not a fate, but an opportunity!
Origin of the Meikirch Model

When I was practicing medicine at a university and when I was teaching students, I realized that much of medicine of the 21st Century was primarily focused on the wellbeing of patients, but included also other objectives. Activities had to satisfy many other interests, such as the financial health of hospitals and the career of physicians. In addition health insurances had to survive financially, drug firms and health technologies had to respond to shareholders and politicians wanted to be reelected, etc. Under these circumstances the question arose, whether or not the health of individuals and of populations still was a significant concern. This question, however, cannot be answered, as long as nobody knows, what health truly is. In fact, the nature of health varies with each stakeholder of the health care system.

When I understood how unsatisfactory this was, I decided to work about the question, how to define health. I soon realized that many highly respected people had dealt with this problem and published very interesting propositions. Yet, none of them was satisfactory for the early 21st Century. The problem had to be reanalyzed from the start. Carrying this concern and searching I gradually arrived at a usable concept. Since it originated in Meikirch, it was called Meikirch Model. The medical establishment hesitated to deal with the new idea. For that reason in 2011 I presented a poster of the Meikirch Model at a Conference of the United Nations in Bonn, Germany. There Sarangadhar Samal from Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India became interested and had the idea to introduce the Meikirch Model in villages of indigenous people, but also in district, state, and national governments, and organizations.

Sarangadhar Samal therefore started a cooperation between Meikirch and the NYSASDRI Company in Bhubaneswar, India. It led to many activities at all levels. Explanatory books had to be written and printed. The most tangible results were immediately observed in villages of indigenous people. They realized that health is not a fate, but an opportunity. They themselves can do something for their health. They can assume responsibility for many of its features. The purpose of this webpage is to show, what the Meikirch Model is and what can be achieved with its help.

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Johannes Bircher MD

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