Colonialism and the Historical trajectory of Medical Care in South Asia: A Trans-National Comparison
Paper short abstract:
This paper traces the development of public medical care in colonial and post-colonial India within a transnational context. It compares debates about the involvement of the state in medical provision in India with various colonies and Europe to assess the colonial legacy for medical care.
Paper long abstract:
This paper examines the colonial legacy for medical care provision in South Asia by situating the development of state-financed medical care in colonial and post-colonial India within a transnational context. It examines debates about the involvement of the state in medical provision in various colonies and Europe to ask why medical care became an important part of welfare in developed countries but remained part of an unfulfilled 'development' agenda in Asian and African post-colonial states. It compares the histories of provision in settler colonies like New Zealand and Australia with the trajectories of medical care in both British and French colonies in Africa and Asia, drawing on an expanding literature that includes work on the political economy of health, colonial medicine, medical anthropology and medical history. Analysing the extent to which the goal of health for all began to dominate policy from the 1940s across different countries brings fresh perspectives on the post-colonial Indian state's health care provision.
Society, medicine and history: new perspectives