November 2012

Healthcare for all?



With medical attention increasingly rationed even in the wealthy West and ballooning concerns over the quality of life for a growing elderly population, is the notion of 'healthcare for all' beginning to seem impossibly utopian? As our societies become increasingly stratified, tiered healthcare systems increasingly reflect inequality. Three decades of pressure by the likes of the World Bank and the IMF to push healthcare in a 'user pays' direction has contributed to dismantling notions of care provision as a right.  

And it's not just care that's affected. Study after study points out that inequality directly affects our health as well, impacting those at greatest disadvantage the most.

 This month's edition also inspects the issue of drug pricing, where the pursuit of profit clearly comes at a human cost. And it checks out the possibilities of a revolutionary medicine, rooted in the community, accessible to all. This was once an agreed goal of world leaders at the tail-end of the 1970s - can it be revived now?

豊かな国々でさえも徐々に治療が制限され、増加する高齢者の生活の質への懸念が膨らむ中、「万人のための保健医療」という考え 方は実現不可能な理想になりつつあるのだろうか? 社会の階層化がだんだんと進むにつれ、保健医療制度は差別化され、不平等が徐々に反映されるようになっ ている。世界銀行や国際通貨基金(IMF)などが、保健医療に「利用者負担」という道筋をつけようとかけた30年に及ぶ圧力は、医療受診は権利であるという概念の崩壊を手助けしたのだ。









6 Colombia: will peace prevail?

6 Food safety flaw

7 Introducing Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

7 Trafigura: toxic mess

7 The heat is on in Doha

8 Fair trade dust-up

8 Australia: gas hub threat

9 India: Trumped-up charges

9 Azerbaijan: Extradition incites
PLUS: Scratchy Lines by Simon Kneebone, and Reasons to be cheerful.

Mixed Media
28 Music reviews
Songs for Desert Refugees by Various Artists, and Songs for Kommeno by
Günter 'Baby Sommer'et al.

29 Film reviews
Ginger and Rosa, directed by Sally Potter; Elena, directed by Andrey Zvyaginstev; and Amour, directed by Michael Haneke.

30 Book reviews
Superman is an Arab by Joumana Haddad; Slavery Inc by Lydia Cacho;
Night Dancer by Chika Unigwe; and The Revenge of History by Seumas Milne.

31 Also out there - other music, film and book highlights this month, including Discordia by Laurie Penny and Molly Crabapple.

The Big Story - Healthcare
10 The vision thing
Inequality squeezes both how healthy we are and the healthcare we get.
Time to get past it, believes Dinyar Godrej.

14 The cost of living
Industry practices that milk profits from drugs are killing the poor, says Nick Harvey.

17 Russian roulette for Greeks
Attacks on public health services have left Katerina Kitidi's compatriots in a hard place.

18 Healthcare, health and inequality: THE FACTS

20 Child survival - but at what cost?
We need to go beyond 'saving lives' and demand a right to health, according to Claudio Schuftan.

22 Moral medicine: the Cuban way
A revolutionary example of efficient and affordable healthcare, by John M Kirk and Chris Walker.

Regular Features
4 Letters
Hope and despair for today's youth; why the legalization of drugs could be a slippery slope; and student debt – a choice, not a privilege.

5 Letter from Botswana
The arrival of the first rains is a moment of joy for Wame Molefhe.

26 Country Profile: Grenada

32 Making Waves
Zoya Rouhana is fighting for women's rights in Lebanon.

33 Steve Parry
Heroes, frauds and Trojan Tories.
PLUS: Polyp's Big Bad World cartoon.

34 Southern Exposure
Saving the tiger, photographed by Fauzan Ijazah from Indonesia.

35 Mark Engler
How not to make every vote count.

38 And Finally...
Shortlisted for this year's Booker Prize, Indian novelist Jeet Thayil is not afraid to court controversy.

36 To everything there is a season
How can Egyptians make sure last year's uprisings have a lasting legacy? Maria Golia looks forward.



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