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Table mountain

It was a wonderful and sunny October morning after an overwhelmingly busy week-long discussions over complexity of health systems and researchers’ collective aspiration for a people-centred health system held at a venue largely unrepresentative of the rest of South Africa, … Continue reading

Dispatched

What’s wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.

- Patch Adams (in the movie) played by Robin Williams

Robin Williams, a brilliant actor who pulled off comic roles so naturally in Hollywood

Robin Williams in the movie Patch Adams

movies committed suicide earlier today. One of his better known movies, Mrs. Doubtfire for example, is  known in our parts for its adaptation by Kamal Hassan in the Tamil movie Avvai Shanmughi or  re-made in Hindi as Chachi 420. Continue reading

Health system regulation in India

 The medical establishment has become a threat to health

- Ivan Illich begins his book “Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis” (1975) with these lines

Going by recent events, Illich’s trenchant criticism of Western medical

Ivan Illich’s classic 1975 book “Limits to Medicine: The Medical Nemesis”. Clink image to download pdf of book

establishments is also pertinent to healthcare in India. First, there was Aamir Khan’s Satyameva Jayate TV episode on corruption in India’s healthcare sector, which provoked anger at the system and discomfort at (what some felt was) his sanctimonious treatment of the issue. Then, the entry, exit, and re-entry of an allegedly corrupt doctor, Ketan Desai, as head of the Medical Council of India

made news.

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Open government (data)

Comment is free, but facts are sacred

Thanks to the exceedingly good central government run website to file applications under the Right to Information Act (see end of this post for details), I got the opportunity to look at some useful data on implementation of large nationwide schemes. I have been trying to obtain data on such schemes across subjects, disciplines and departments with the objective of understanding what ails the management and utilisation of data in government services in India. Continue reading

Afrindian Mammals

I just came across a recent book on Indian mammals. Congratulations to the

Cover image from Flipkart. Click image if you really want to buy the book.

authors (M. S. Pradhan, S. S. Talmale), both from the prestigious Zoological Survey of India. I, for one would have bought it, if not for its fairly expensive pricing. It is priced at 4500. I hope, that by now, the authors have become aware of the bloopers on its outside cover though. Well, I hope they are bloopers, for I would find no good reason to illustrate a book of Indian mammals with African elephants on its cover! Continue reading