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Sociology of Health and MedicineNew Perspectives$
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V. Sujatha

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198099130

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198099130.001.0001

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The Private Sector in Health and Medicine

The Private Sector in Health and Medicine

The Indian Story

(p.247) 6 The Private Sector in Health and Medicine
Sociology of Health and Medicine

V. Sujatha

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights the role of the private sector in health and medicine with reference to India. The private sector plays a critical role in the field of medicine because the nature and extent of privatization determines not just the kind of medical care delivered, but also reflects the division of labour, specialization and the professional authority of medicine in any given society. The term private sector in this chapter is employed to refer to the institutions that have emerged because of the investment of private capital and the advent of mass industrial production of drugs since the nineteenth century. If we take capital investment and mass production as the markers of a distinct phase in medicine, then the process of privatization has not been uniform for different fields of medicine such as, medical care, manufacture of medicines and medical education. The chapter briefly maps the process in these three sectors.

Keywords:   mass production, universalization, medical technologies, private medical care, sovereignty, corporate hospitals, privatization, medical education, pharmaceutical industry, medical tourism, neglect of public health

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