HEALTH BEYOND MEDICINE: Some Reflections on the Politics and Sociology of Health in India
Author(s) : Vikas Bajpai & Anoop Saraya ,
Region : World | Language : English | Product Binding : Hardbound | Page No. : 320 | Year : 2018
ISBN : 9789350025277
INR : 995
Health is a socially produced phenomenon which expresses itself biologically. This notwithstanding, rather than emphasize provisioning of social conditions that lead to good health, the emphasis of policy makers is on provisioning of health care services as an expedient to ensuring people's health. As regards social determinants of health the underlying presumption seems to be that GDP growth will automatically take care of it in due course of time. However, it seems the fear that addressing the social determinants of health would entail a radical transformation of society itself which has kept the rulers away from taking any meaningful action in this regard. The health workforce is also trained to conceptualize health problems and their possible solutions from the perspective of the 'haves' rather than that of the impoverished majority. Caste, class, gender, religion and ethnicity are important determinants of health outcomes which no health services system can afford to ignore. Above all, there is a need to understand the politics that zealously guards the present state of affairs; and the politics that we need to engage with for our redemption.
This book seeks to remove the analytical blinkers put on our minds by the ruling elite such that we can clearly see the links between the social, economic and political structure of our society, the health services system as it has evolved and the health of the people. Doing so is the first step to doing the rest.
Dr Vikas Bajpai teaches at the Center for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He was trained as a radiation oncologist at Delhi's Safdarjang Hospital, was then affiliated to Delhi University. After completing MD in Radiotherapy in 1996, he gave up medical profession and responded to his inner calling by joining the revolutionary trade union movement as a full time activist. Work in the revolutionary trade union movement for a period little less than a decade brought him face to face with the precarious existence of the workers in the very heart of India's capital, in the sweatshops of Delhi's industrial areas and the shanty townships they live in. Politics of the downtrodden also afforded him a chance to observe and participate in the trials and travails of Indian peasantry in different parts of the country. This book brings to fruition the remarkable experiences and learning from those years, since gone by.
Dr Anoop Saraya is Professor of Gastroenterology and Head of the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition Unit at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Apart from being an excellent clinician, an empathetic physician and an avid medical researcher, Dr Saraya has been a veteran of the progressive doctor's movement and has been taking up several issues directly impacting the interests of the poor patients such as issues regarding drug patents, abolition of user charges, opposing privatization of services at public health institutions and overall privatization of health services. His experience gained over the years has directly fed into enriching the content of this book.
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