S. AKBAR ZAIDI (M.Sc, London School of Economics) is at the Applied Economics Research Centre, University of Karachi, where he is a Research Economist (Assistant Professor). He has written extensively on the health sector in Pakistan as well as on political and social issues of the country and is a regular contributor to numerous local and international journals and magazines. His interests include Marxist economics, Imperialism and its effect on the Third World, and the theory and practice of the transition to Socialism in underdeveloped countries. He is also the co-editor of the prestigious Pakistan Journal of Applied Economics.
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF HEALTH CARE IN PAKISTAN
This book deals with one of the most essential conditions of human existence: the health of individuals and society. The author has described the multi-faceted structure of health care in Pakistan at great length and has then identified and highlighted the results of this health system on the people of the country. He uses a Marxist framework and shows how the exploitation and domination of a small minority in the economic structure of society is mirrored in the health structure of the country. He argues that the existing economic and political situation in Pakistan has resulted in a model of health care which is elitist, western-oriented, and suited to the needs of a handful of well-to-do people. The author shows how this elitist bias is predominant in the numerous layers of the model, and issues, such as medical education, the social background of medical students, the geographical location of health facilities and doctors, etc., are all analyzed within this perspective. He shows convincingly, that the goal “health for all by the year 2000”, given the existing class structure in Pakistan, is an impossibility. To achieve health for all, or for even the majority of the people in Pakistan or any other underdeveloped capitalist country, one needs, as a prerequisite, to change the existing economic, social and political structure which gives birth to the particular inequitable model of health care. Only then can one have the beginnings of a more just and equitable society and hope for health for all.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS