Home » Publications » Health and Healthcare Systems

Health and Healthcare Systems

Books

TOWARDS A CRITICAL MEDICAL PRACTICE: REFLECTIONS ON THE DILEMMAS OF MEDICAL CULTURE TODAY (2010)

edited by Anand Zachariah, R.Srivatsan & Susie Tharu

(on behalf of the CMC- Anveshi collective)

Book Review

→ Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XLVII, No 40, October 6, 2012 click here

→ Christian Medical Journal of India, vol.27,No.2, Apr-June 2012. click here

→ ‘The National Medical journal of India’,vol.24,No.4, 2011.  click here

→ ‘The Hindu’ June 28th,2011. click here

High medical costs, the impersonality of technology driven speciality medicine and the difficulty in accessing curative primary care are three visible aspects of a crisis for medicine in India. Towards a Critical Medical Practice is the outcome of a dialogue between a self- critical medicine and the new social sciences that offers original perspectives on the crisis.

The book has a set of historical studies that provide fresh insights into the dilemmas that surround cholera, kalaazar, post-traumatic stress disorder, ischemic heart disease and undernutrition  in contemporary India. Papers in another group argue that the public health focus on large-scale preventive programmes has resulted in the underdevelopment of primary care in the curative mode. This deficit in curative care is targeted by the new corporate hospitals, which adopt an expensive and inappropriate form of tertiary care, ill-equipped to provide appropriate medical care in the context of our everyday living.

There is also a path-breaking study which captures the drama of the crisis as mirrored in the lives of the poor, battling illness on an everyday basis.  A dialogue between patients about the discourse of medical practice attempts to understand how patient experience could be usefully transformed into a form of knowledge about illness.

Doctors practise against this formidable backdrop of technical knowledge, orientation and elitism of modern medicine. The constant everyday work of translating this knowledge and everyday experience to address a local situation and do justice to the individual patient remains largely invisible and undervalued in modern medicine.  We argue that theorising thispractice, be it in teaching or in research, will open up new directions in health care and medical education.

SAVAALAKSHA SANDEHAALU: STHREELU-AAROGYAM, SAMSKRUTI, RAJAKEEYALU (2006. FIRST PUBLISHED 1991)

This book, edited by K. Sajaya and K. Lalita, is a revised and reworked edition drawing from the handbook on health with the same title, and Taking Charge of Our Bodies, brought out in 2004. This collaborative effort, produced by women from both medical and non-medical backgrounds, is based on a critique of medical knowledge and practice, the family, and the doctor-patient relationship. It draws on women’s experiences and alternative practices to provide information about women’s health problems in an accessible manner. The book is published by Anveshi Health Collective and Hyderabad Book Trust, Hyderabad.

The 1991 health handbook, which was used in the mass literacy campaigns of the mid-90s, ran into two impressions. Multiple copies have been purchased by UNDP and by the AP Women’s Welfare Department for use in their self-help groups. The largest sales, however, have been to individual users.

TAKING CHARGE OF OUR BODIES: A HEALTH HANDBOOK FOR WOMEN (2004)

This book is a reworked version of the health handbook, Savaalaksha Sandehaalu: Streelu Arogyasamasyalu, aimed at middle class women. The book includes updated versions of the chapters on nutrition, exercise, motherhood etc as well as several new chapters on women’s mental health, problems of fertility, sexuality, menopause and cancer. The book is edited by Veena Shatrugna, Gita Ramaswamy and Srividya Natarajan and published by Penguin, New Delhi.

MENTAL HEALTH FROM A GENDER PERSPECTIVE (2001)

This book is an outcome of a national conference on women and mental health, organised by Anveshi in 1996. The conference brought together psychiatrists, social workers, feminists and mental health self-help groups. The book is edited by Bhargavi Davar and published by Sage Publications, New Delhi.

MENTAL HEALTH OF INDIAN WOMEN: A FEMINIST AGENDA (1998)

This path-breaking work by Bhargavi Davar draws attention to the high incidence of mental distress among women and the pathologization of what needs to be understood as a social phenomenon. Part of the research towards this book was housed in Anveshi. The book is published by Sage Publications, New Delhi.

TOUCH ME, TOUCH ME NOT: WOMEN, PLANTS AND HEALING (1997)

This handbook by Shodini Collective is a result of extensive research on traditional medical practices of women healers and self-help groups working in several states in India. The Andhra Pradesh chapter of this project was housed in Anveshi. The book is published by Kali for Women, New Delhi.

MANTRAJAALAM DOCTORLADA, MANTRASANULADA? (1994)

This work by K. Lalita is a Telugu translation of the classic, Witches, Midwives and Nurses by Barbara Ehrenreich and Diedre English. It is published by Charita Prachuranalu, Hyderabad.

Reports

PATIENTS MANAGING HEALTHCARE: RE-READING INTRACTABILITY IN ILLNESS SCENARIOS (2006)

The report, written by Lakshmi Kutty, presents an ethnographic study that examines the complex location of what is labelled the ‘non-compliant’ patient in medical discourse. The study found that ill persons inhabit various realms of existence simultaneously, but these intertwined realities were rendered invisible by the medical system’s way of looking at them as individual bodies battling sickness. The report also focuses on the intensive amounts of negotiation that ill persons are made to effect vis-a-vis medical advice or medical institutional spaces.

FAMILY AND MENTAL HEALTH (2003)

Jayasree Kalathil prepared this report for the Study Group on Mental Health which met in Anveshi between 2002-2003. This is the report of the workshop that explored the articulations of and negotiations with mental distress in the context of the family. Download a full report or read a short version published in aaina: a mental health advocacy newsletter.

DEFYING FRONTIERS, DEFINING POSSIBILITIES – PART 1: DIAGNOSING DISMISSALS. A DOCUMENTARY FILM ON HEALTH (2002)

This 36 minutes documentary film was made as part of a collaborative project with the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Shot by Shital Morjaria and K. Anita, the film shows Dr Veena Shatrugna being interviewed by Dr Rekha Pappu, and a group discussion involving about 12 members of Anveshi. It raises a number of issues in relation to the feminist perspective on health, including reproductive health, contraception, nutrition, back pain, the role of the drug industry, alternative health systems, and mental health.

WOMEN AND HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN ZAHEERABAD: TOWARDS A NEW PARADIGM OF HEALTH (1989)

Veena Shatrugna, Uma Maheswari and T. Sujatha prepared this report for the Task Force on Health under the National Commission for Self-Employed Women. The report discusses how the health care system had very little to offer to rural poor women – in most instances, the health care facilities were distant and unsuited to the needs of the women in remote villages.

BACK PAIN IN WOMEN: POSSIBLE RELATIONSHIPS TO PROLONGED WORK, CHRONIC CALCIUM DEFICIENCY AND BONE THINNING (1989)

This report was prepared for the Task Force on Health under the National Commission for Self-Employed Women. The report presents the findings that chronic back pain in women resulted from inadequate consumption of calcium rich food, disapproval of vigorous exercises during youth, emphasis on femininity and postures that result in stooping shoulders, long hours of repetitive work in fixed postures, pregnancies and prolonged breast feeding. It was found that the medical system does not recognise the social roots of back pain in women’s lives.