HEALTH BEYOND MEDICINE: Some Reflections on the Politics and Sociology of Health in India


ISBN 9789350025277


Additional information






Year Published

ISBN 9789350025277


Healthis a socially produced phenomenon which expresses itself biologically. This notwithstanding, rather than emphasize provisioning of social conditions that lead to goodhealth, the emphasis of policy makers is on provisioning ofhealthcare services as an expedient to ensuring people’shealth. As regards social determinants ofhealththe 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 ofhealthwould entail a radical transformation of society itself which has kept the rulers away from taking any meaningful action in this regard.Thehealthworkforce is also trained to conceptualizehealthproblems 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 ofhealthoutcomes which nohealthservices 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, thehealthservices system as it has evolved and thehealthof the people. Doing so is the first step to doing the rest.

Dr Vikas Bajpaiteaches at the Center for SocialMedicineand CommunityHealth, 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 upmedicalprofession 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 Sarayais Professor of Gastroenterology and Head of the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition Unit at the All India Institute ofMedicalSciences, New Delhi. Apart from being an excellent clinician, an empathetic physician and an avidmedicalresearcher, 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 regardingdrugpatents, abolition of user charges, opposing privatization of services at publichealth institutions and overall privatization ofhealthservices. His experience gained over the years has directly fed into enriching the content of this book.


BOOK Review –


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “HEALTH BEYOND MEDICINE: Some Reflections on the Politics and Sociology of Health in India”