1st Edition

Health Providers in India On the Frontlines of Change

Edited By Kabir Sheikh, Asha George Copyright 2010
    302 Pages
    by Routledge India

    302 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This volume has articles contributed by health researchers, practitioners, policy advocates, programme managers and a journalist, and poems by renowned poet–physician Gieve Patel. Each presents a distinctive view of a particular group of frontline health providers, based on field research or on the authors’ respective experiences of working with or as providers. The health providers addressed in this volume include doctors (working in the public and private sectors), nurses, public health workers, counsellors, traditional practitioners and homecare providers.

    Different groups of health providers face struggles at diverse frontiers — social, professional and systemic. In the context of reforming health systems, government health workers must constantly negotiate the vagaries of changing working environments and policy vacillations. For traditional and homecare providers, formal health systems and structures often only reject and exclude their contributions. Medical doctors, conversely, face difficult challenges of introspection, as they tread the line between personal gain and public service.

    The ideas and themes that emerge in this collection not only contribute to the understanding of providers’ roles as actors in the health systems and societies of contemporary India, but re-examines preconceptions about this critical occupational group. This volume advances the case for a deeper appreciation of India’s complex landscape of healthcare provision, and of the potential roles of frontline health providers as central figures in development.

    List of Tables Foreword Preface and Acknowledgements List of Abbreviations Introduction: India’s Health Providers: Diverse Frontiers, Disparate Fortunes by Kabir Sheikh and Asha George Part I: Government Health Workers: Uneasy at the Bottom Chapter 1. Government Rural Health Assistants as Social Beings by Asha George Chapter 2. The Midwifery Role of the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife by Dileep Mavalankar, Kranti Vora and Bharati Sharma Chapter 3. Dilemmas and Conflicts of HIV Counsellors in VCTCs by Akhila Vasan and Jayashree Ramakrishna Part II: Doctors: Vexed Relationship with the Public Good Chapter 4. Public Sector Doctors in an Era of Commercialization by Rama V. Baru Chapter 5. Working with Private Practitioners on a Public Health Intervention by Risha Hess, Saswati Sen and Pritpal Marjara Chapter 6. Understanding Practitioners’ Responses to National Policy Guidelines by Kabir Sheikh and John D. H. Porter Chapter 7. The Dynamics of Medicos’ Anti-Reservation Protests of 2006 by V. Venkatesan Part III: Traditional and Homecare Providers: The Edge of Legitimacy Chapter 8. The Community Role of Indigenous Healers by Madhura Lohokare and Bhargavi V. Davar Chapter 9. Traditional Orthopaedic Practitioners’ Place in Contemporary Health by Unnikrishnan P. M., Lokesh Kumar H. P. and Darshan Shankar Chapter 10. The Critical Role of Family Care Providers in HIV/AIDS by Shilpa Karvande, Vidula Purohit, Karina Kielmann, Rajendra Kale and Sheela Rangan Part IV: Adapting, Transforming: Personal Experiences in Professional Spaces Chapter 11. Sexual Harassment of Women Health Worker by Paramita Chaudhuri Chapter 12. Gender and Health Training of Male Multipurpose Wokers by Anagha Pradhan, Renu Khanna and Korrie de Koning Four Poems by Gieve Patel About the Editors Notes on Contributors Index


    Kabir Sheikh is Senior Lecturer, Public Health Foundation of India, Delhi.

    Asha George is Health Specialist, Community Based Approaches, Policy and Evidence Unit, Health Section, Programme Division, UNICEF, New York.