Professionalization of Medicine in India: Competing Systems in the Era of Globalization
Prof. Arvind Chauhan
(Dean Faculty of Social Sciences,
Barkatullah University, Bhopal M.P.)- 462026, India
The paper attempts to examine the nature and development of the process of professionalization of medicine in India in the era of globalization. It also assesses the people’s response to various forms of competing medical systems. The paper is divided into five parts like the following: (i) introduction; (ii) professionalization of medicine in India: an historical perspective; (iii) re-emergence of earlier existing systems and the case for alternative medicines; (iv) people’s selective and careful response to different systems of medicine; and (v) conclusion. The professionalization of medicine especially the allopathic medicine started during the British rule in India, challenging the then existing systems of medicine like Ayurveda and Unani. But Allopathy succeeded in establishing its supremacy over all the other existing systems- making inroads in urban as well as in rural areas. The setting up of the AIIMS at New Delhi and decades later at a few other places like Bhopal have been the significant development to protect the people of India from some chronic diseases.
On the other hand the hitherto under-represented systems of medicine like the Ayurvedic, Homeopathy and Unani have also made a comeback, of course with the support of the government, under the umbrella term called AYUSH. India has seen a sort of re-emergence of these alternative systems of medicine with the support of various governments and thus acquiring legitimacy in the process. The patients have given a careful and selective response while going for their treatment under these competing systems of medicine for various diseases. The patients have skillfully combined and tried more than one system of medicine for the treatment of the same diseases.