Where is ‘Public’ in the Public Health Discourse?

Journal of Health Systems. 2016 Jun 7;2(1):19–23

5 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2017

See all articles by Anant Kumar

Anant Kumar

Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi; University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Gillings School of Global Public Health

K Rajasekharan Nayar

Global Institute of Public Health and Santhigiri Research Foundation

Lekha Bhat

Mizoram University

Date Written: June 7, 2016

Abstract

The origin of modern public health as an academic discipline goes back to the 19th century. However, a concern towards the health of masses has always existed in all societies. The principles of public health in earlier times were guided more by the notions of the commons, wellbeing, and local knowledge. In recent times, our understanding and practice of public health is guided more by technological advances and the market forces. In such a situation, the present public health prescriptions fail to understand the importance of local knowledge systems and practices. As a consequence, people’s dependence is increasing on technologies which are accessible to a limited group of people who can afford and controlled only by the few multi-national companies and trans-nationals. Despite our commitment to decentralization, democracy, communitisation and people’s participation, public health policy planning is guided by top down approach and privatization agenda. In this context, the paper is an attempt to bring people into the public health discourse and redefine it from a people’s perspective.

Keywords: Public health, People’s participation, Decentralization

Suggested Citation

Kumar, Anant and Nayar, K Rajasekharan and Bhat, Lekha, Where is ‘Public’ in the Public Health Discourse? (June 7, 2016). Journal of Health Systems. 2016 Jun 7;2(1):19–23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2761737 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2761737

Anant Kumar (Contact Author)

Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi ( email )

Dr. Camil Bulcke Path
Purulia Road
Ranchi, Jharkhand 834001
India
09934160637 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://xiss.ac.in

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Gillings School of Global Public Health ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sph.unc.edu/

K Rajasekharan Nayar

Global Institute of Public Health and Santhigiri Research Foundation ( email )

Global Institute of Public Health, Ananthapuri Hos
Thiruvananthapuram, 695024
India

Lekha Bhat

Mizoram University ( email )

Tanhril
Aizawl
Aizawl, MI 796009
India

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