John has written and researched extensively on health services and health policy issues for trade union and other organisations for over 30 years. His PhD thesis (2004) was a comparative study of market-style reforms on health care systems around the world, a revised version of which was published in 2005 as Health Policy Reform, Driving the Wrong Way? by Middlesex University Press – subsequently translated into a top-selling Turkish edition. A new and completely revised edition of this book, now provisionally titled Global Health versus Private Profit was published by Libri Publishing (successor organisation to Middlesex University Press) in 2013.
In 2008, to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service John researched and wrote a major book: The NHS After 60, for Patients or Profits (Middlesex University Press), which brought the history of the NHS up to date.
More recently John has co-authored (with Dr Jacky Davis and Dr David Wrigley a critical account of the English NHS since the introduction of the 2012 Health & Social Care Act – NHS For Sale, published by Merlin, March 2015.
In June 2009 John organised with the International Association of Health Policy in Europe, a successful international conference: Health care marketising reforms and the media, hosted by Coventry University and has subsequently published the papers from this with an introduction as 'Europe's Health For Sale' (2011: Libri Publishing). In 2011 and 2014 John organised International conferences on health journalism at Coventry University, and in 2014 was contributing editor of "First Do No Harm", the first-ever book on health journalism published in Europe (available as an e-book, Libri 2014).
John also collaborated with academics from University of Ottawa and an international team in a research project on social determinants of health, focused on globalisation and health care systems, publishing a 105-page monograph of the completed paper, and a chapter in Globalisation and Health, Pathways, Evidence and Policy (ed by Labonte, Schrecker, Packer and Runnels, Routledge 2009). He has presented papers and spoken at meetings and conferences on international health policy in various countries including Greece, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Turkey, Spain, Sweden, and Romania.
In 2011-12 John conducted commissioned research work for Oxfam on the World Bank policies on health and other issues.