Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire  book cover
1st Edition

Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire

ISBN 9781594519529
Published July 31, 2011 by Routledge
228 Pages

USD $42.95

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Book Description

The recent financial meltdown has brought notable changes to the global practice of health care changes that have often escaped the American news media. Although Western managed-care corporations previously had strengthened their influence abroad, now many countries are considering new approaches to health care for their citizens.The untold story of how corporations have influenced global health care and the impacts now in America as the system rapidly shifts is Dr. Waitzkin s subject in his provocative new book. We now live in a new era in which the prospects for more humane approaches to health care are taking root. Strengthening access and improving public health are at the heart of the many previously little-noted struggles and actions by individuals, groups, and whole nations to put control back in the hands of patients and practitioners, as Americans of many political stripes seem to universally seek. The impacts of these changes in the United States are considerable, and they are amply illustrated by Dr. Waitzkin as the United States attempts to reorient its own system of care.Selected as the 2012 winner of the Freidson Outstanding Publication Award by the American Sociological Association for its "bold and timely analysis of the global political economy of contemporary crises in health and medical care. By presenting the lessons learned from social medicine (past and present), [it] outlines a macro-sociologically informed response to these crises.""


Watizkin’s book offers an insightful, research-based, political expose via a compelling historical depiction of the invariable link between “medicine” (in the form of health and health services delivery) and “empire,” –Journal of Anthropological Research

"Health-care reform is a lively and contentious topic, but, as Waitzkin shows in this informative study, our debates on reform are too narrowly framed. His thoughtful analysis raises important questions about conventional assumptions of doctrine and practice and scrutinizes alternatives, among them notably the record of social medicine in Latin America."
—Noam Chomsky, MIT

“Influenced by Latin American ides of social medicine that link health outcomes to social conditions, Waitzkin (U. of New Mexico) analyzes historical and current patterns of medicine and public health in the Americas within the broader social context of capitalism and American imperialism. He first considers broad historical theme, including the role of the international health organizations in strengthening the empire, the development of the international market for health products and services, and the impact of resistance to empire on public health and health services in Chile and Cuba. Turning to more recent issues, he explores the impact of neoliberal policies on public health and medicine, relationships between macroeconomic policies and health, efforts to export the for-profit managed care model of the United States to other countries, the role of international financial institutions in pushing for privatization of health services, the ideologies of the different stakeholders involved in struggles over global trade and public health, and the impact of war on the health of military personnel. Finally, he presents various social medicine initiatives in Latin America as examples to follow as the empire wanes.”
—Eithne O’Leyne, June 2011 Reference and Research Book News

"For the past three decades Howard Waitkzkin has been (along with Vicente Navarro) the leading social medicine theorist in the United States. Medicine and Public Health at the End of Empire provides a superb sampling of Waitzkin's wide-ranging work, and a readily accessible introduction."
—Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein in Monthly Review