Friday, February 8, 2013

Books on Healthcare Issues in Asia

These are recent titles on healthcare issues in Asia:

Vietnamese Health Care System in Change: A Policy Network Analysis of a Southeast Asian Welfare Regime by Kerstin Priwitzer. Within the last 20 years a large-scale bottom-up privatization has taken place in Vietnam, changing and dismantling the public health care system. This process has led to severe tensions inherent in the transitional society of Vietnam between equity and access to health care support especially for the poor, elderly, migrants, and ethnic minorities on the one hand, and its efficiency on the other hand. The book traces the reform efforts to modernize the health care system by the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Vietnamese government. The author bases her findings on little known primary literature and interviews with key stakeholders of the policy network involved in the reform of the health care system, thereby painting an authentic atmospheric picture of the profound changes in the health care system in Vietnam.

Global Movements, Local Concerns: Medicine and Health in Southeast Asia by Laurence Monnais and Harold J. Cook. The development of medicine in Southeast Asia over the past two centuries has not been a simple imposition of European scientific medicine, but a complex and negotiated process that drew on Southeast Asian health experts, local medical traditions, and changing national and popular expectations. The contributors to this volume show how the practices of health in Southeast Asia over the past two centuries were mediated by local medical traditions, colonial interests, governments and policies, international interventions, and by a wide range of health agents and intermediaries. Their findings call into question many of the claims based on medicalization and biopolitics that treat change as a process of rupture. While governments, both colonial and national, instituted policies that affected large numbers of people, much health care remained rooted in a more interactive and locally-mediated experience, in which tradition, adaptation and hybridization is as important as innovation and conflict. "Semi-subaltern" Western-trained doctors and varied traditional healers, many of them women, were among the cultural brokers involved in the building of healthcare systems, and helped circulate mixed practices and ideas about medicine and health even as they found their place in new professional and social hierarchies in an era of globalization.

Singapore's Ageing Population: Managing Health Care and End-Of-Life Decisions by Chan Wing-Cheong. A rapidly ageing population is the most significant demographic issue confronting Singapore in our lifetime. This has created new and increasing demands on Singapore's healthcare system and on the families of the older adults. The challenge is in providing a system of care that is humane, effective and sustainable financially. This requires coordination between state funded providers, the family and the community. This book offers a multi-disciplinary perspective by researchers from various disciplines such as medicine, sociology, anthropology and law on managing healthcare and end-of-life decisions in Singapore. Providing information and suggestions for better policy formulation towards the aged, this book is an invaluable resource for policy makers, service practitioners and scholars working on Asian gerontology. Indexed.

Frameworks of Choice: Predictive and Genetic Testing in Asia by Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner. This is the first comparative study of predictive and genetic testing in Asia in the English language. It explores genetic and predictive testing in relation to political and social institutions such as education, healthcare, research regulation and genetic governance. It is a unique study of genomic policy-making, grounded in empirical fieldwork in China, Japan, India and Sri Lanka. The volume presents original theoretical analyses of the cultural and political dimensions of predictive and genetic testing by analysing the social, cultural, political and economic environment of choices that people have before and after they undergo a genetic or predictive test. With bibliography and index.

Biomedical Ethics and the Church: An Introduction by Roland Chia. An introductory exploration of Christian perspectives on issues of bioethics which increasingly face individuals, medical practitioners and researchers, administrators and makers of public policy as well as pastoral counsellors. Part 1 explores theological foundations for bioethics. Part 2 looks at current issues in healthcare, life and death decisions, human genetics and research of various kinds and Part 3 considers bioethics and the role of the Church including in public ethics.

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