ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Prescription without Diagnosis-Report of Commission on Health Research Development

Prescription without Diagnosis Report of Commission on Health Research Development Debabar Banerji The commission has failed to take account of the long history of health research in countries like India nor analysed the failure of earlier efforts.

Health Care and Politics in Pakistan

should be permitted provided the im migrants stay in the host country only during the period of their active employment (even the duration could be specified). The developed countries of course would benefit because of the depopulation trend mentioned by Ohlin. However, at the same time, the developing countries would also gain as there would be a sort of rotation of immigrants and hence a larger number would get the benefit of experience in a developed country. And since they have to return to their home country, the latter would benefit by their experience as well as their saving that is repatriated. In addition, vital link; will be established between migrants and returning migrants and between the migrants and their relations at home as other nationals, and these links may help the developing countries in acquiring and adapting modern technology as well as attracting foreign investment, particularly by the nonresident nationals. This is already happening to some extent in several developing countries and this process could be accelerated with the type of global integration of labour markets as is suggested here. In that case, brain drain could be converted into brain replenishment.

Politics of Immunisation Programme

While the protection of children in consonance with broad-based primary health care activities is a desirable objective, the immunisation package being promoted today ignores vital epidemiological, biological and administrative factors.

Rural Social Transformation and Changes in Health Behaviour

This paper discusses the findings of a wide-ranging study of health behaviour in nineteen villages spread over eight states and covering a time-span of fifteen years. The study, which has provided a range of information on rural social, cultural and economic transformation on the one hand and changes in health behaviour on the other, highlights the close correlation between the two and brings out that change of health behaviour can be considered as one of the indices of the degree of rural transformation.

Crisis in the Medical Profession in India

The cumulative effect of the numerous shortcomings in the medical profession in India is the virtual breakdown of the public health system.
THE medical profession in India is in the midst of a profound crisis. This crisis has percolated deep into most of medical and health institutions and organisations. The morale of the medical personnel seems to have touched a new low. This crisis has been brewing for a considerable time. One reason for the sudden outburst is that hitherto a sustained effort had been made to cover it up through deliberate neglect of collection of some key information, active suppression and distortion of information, indulging in cheap propaganda gimmicks and spread of disinformation. However, the situation has now worsened to such an extent that it is no longer possible to keep the lid on. Three categories of symptoms of the crisis are presented below.

Sickness of Health Services

kind of political and economic golden age'' (p 228). There is also the ardent appreciation of Nehruvian socialism. "For Nehru, socialism meant using the planned development of an industrial society to eliminate poverty, provide social justice, create a self- reliant economy, and assure national independence and security in world politics. In a mixed economy, the state would occupy the commanding heights. The socialist state would serve society by providing collective and public goods from which everyone would benefit'' (p 62). They also have the hope that Rajiv Gandhi would correct the aberrations of the past because of his commitment to federalism and because "he recognises, as his mother did not, that India can only be governed by significant sharing of power" (p 85, see also p 102), Whether or not these views indicate that for the authors centrism is a creed, they can be shown to be closely related to their THIS book discusses aspects of health care in India. The conventional way of discussing health status of a population and the health services that are available and accessible to individual members is to take into account certain epidemiological, administrative, manpower and technological aspects, without relating them to the wider socio-cultural and political situation. There have been severe criticism of the health services even when such an apolitical, asocial and ahistorical approach is used. A recent one is from the government of India itself in its Statement on National Health Policy which received approval of the parliament in 1983. It complains that more than three and half decades after Independence, the health services in India remain curative and urban in its orientation and that it is accessible only to the 'upper crusts' of the society; that its manpower development and curative institutions are moulded in the Western model; and that a wide cultural gap exists between the providers of health services and the masses of the people. The symptoms of the sickness of the health services in India are described very well. However, a diagnosis will require a wider socio-cultural and political analysis.

Technocentric Approach to Health- Western Response to Alma Ata

Technocentric Approach to Health Western Response to Alma Ata Debabar Banerji DISCUSSING limitations of technology in the context of health of children in the third world, the editorial comment in the Economic and Political Weekly (May 17, 1986) has rightly brought into focus the larger issue of the role of public health technologies and emphasised that health improvements brought about by immunisation, use of Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT), growth charts or nutrition supplements can only be sustained by the availability of food, water and shelter and the political and economic power of the people to obtain them. It has also rightly emphasised that these technologies are being used by the ruling class in third world countries to achieve visible and dramatic improvements in health and to divert attention away from the lack of basic survival needs. These observations are important because they open up the wider questions of motivations behind these efforts to impose technocentric approaches to deal with the problems of child health in the third world, when it is well known that these problems are rooted in the ecological conditions prevailing in these countries[l].

Covering Up Bhopal

December 7, 1985 the average Chinese consumed 1.4 kg of edible oil. 5 kg of fish and 7.7 kg of meat, between one-half and onethird the nutritional requirements. The picture that emerges, therefore, is that despite a massive attempt to divert human and financial resources to the countryside, development and environ- ment haven't reinforced each other sufficiently Smil does make it clear that the living standards in villages are better than they ever were:

National Health Policy and Its Implementation

National Health Policy and Its Implementation Debabar Banerji THE Government of India's Statement on National Health Policy, which was: placed before the Parliament recently, is an interesting document. It reaffirms the government's pledge to fulfil the promises the leadership had made to the people of India halt a century buck. It is, however, difficult to find out from the Statement how the government intends to overcome the obstacles which have come in the way of redeeming these promises in the past.


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