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

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Interpretations and Implications of Increasing Obesity in India

The National Family Health Survey-3 and 4 data show that in the past 10 years, overweight/obesity among women in terms of Body Mass Index has increased quite sharply. In the Indian context, undernutrition and obesity are not separate problems. A large proportion of overweight/obese women are undernourished, with small stature, food transition towards more fats and increasingly sedentary lifestyles making them vulnerable towards being overweight/obese. More diversified diet reduces the risk of overweight/obesity. It is suggested that adequate and good quality diversified diets need to be ensured for comprehensive energy and nutrient adequacy. This requires an overhaul of India’s food programmes.

Solidarity with Gaza

The world is once again witness to the macabre dance of death in Gaza unleashed by the Israeli aggressors, and once again the news of scores of innocent Palestinian deaths, including those of a number of women and children, is flooding in. The tragedy is compounded many-fold by the conspiracy of...

A Complex Picture of Public Health

Health Care in Bombay Presidency 1896-1930 by Mridula Ramanna (New Delhi: Primus Books), 2012; pp x + 202 (Hb), Rs 795.

Appeal for Court Protection of Soni Sori

LETTERS Issn 0012-9976 Ever since the first issue in 1966, EPW has been India’s premier journal for comment on current affairs and research in the social sciences. It succeeded Economic Weekly (1949-1965), which was launched and shepherded by Sachin Chaudhuri, who was also the founder-editor of EPW...

Medical Tourism in India: Progress or Predicament?

It is estimated that the size of the medical tourism market in the country will be Rs 1,95,000 crore in 2012. Based on a literature review of healthcare business media, policy documents and a few academic papers, this essay looks at the scope for medical tourism in India and situates it within the Asian context. It traces shifts in policy with the growth of a tertiary corporate health sector that is urban-centric, and subject to minimal regulation and monitoring. The State acts primarily as a steward. The essay also examines the implications of medical tourism for general medical care and how such policy shifts distort health systems. This analysis raises questions of accessibility, affordability, and ethics in medical care, and asks if it is sensible to promote medical tourism in a democratic welfare state, with poor public healthcare facilities for the masses.

The Business and Ethics of Surrogacy

The Draft Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill and Rules (2008) intends to regulate an "industry" in India that has been expanding by leaps and bounds, mainly on account of a growing demand by foreign couples in search of relatively cheap surrogacy arrangements. This commentary argues that there has been next to no public debate on the ethical, social and medical questions around infertility and surrogacy in our context, and makes a beginning in this direction. Thanks to pressure from women's groups the draft has now been placed on the web site of the Indian Council of Medical Research for comments.

Whither Public Health

Lattars Whither Public Health A letter doing the rounds in US universities is revealing. It says that the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) of the US has been asked to facilitate the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) – which was launched by the prime minister on March 28 – in...

Nutrition Policy

If food security is a priority, then foodgrains should remain at the head of the agenda for policy, especially if the nutritional problems of the marginalised are to be addressed. Further, the type of diversification of food baskets that is taking place, apart from being restricted to the better-off, is certainly unhealthy.

Draft National Health Policy 2001-I : Debt Payment and Devaluing Elements of Public Health

Had the new health policy document proposed an overarching vision of how all the elements it enumerates would be put in place, it would have been a visionary document. As it stands the draft policy is riddled with contradictions and confusions. It spells a significant departure from the 1983 policy objectives of providing primary health care for all, specially the underprivileged. Instead of creatively utilising private sector to provide basic affordable health care, it all but hands over the task to the private sector, inevitably undermining existing national health programmes. By encouraging the corporate involvement in tertiary and secondary level medical care without first ensuring their access to the underprivileged, the draft denies the rights of the poor to good care.

Medical Industry: Illusion of Quality at What Cost?

Much of the debate on privatisation of health care has been based on the assumption that the private sector provides a better quality of services than the public sector. Efforts are on to restructure public institutions on market principles to promote efficiency. However, a recent report on Delhi's private hospitals is a shocking reveletion of their questionable management practices with regard to workers as well as patient care.

Reproductive Health-A Public Health Perspective

This article examines the concept of reproductive health as it emerged in the 1980s, its consequences for health research and family planning programmes in India, its advocacy for the third world agenda and the reasons behind it, its epidemiological basis, and offers an alternative public health perspective for understanding reproductive health.

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