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Medical pluralism in India: patient choice or no other options?

Helen E Sheehan

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2009.045


The maldistribution of biomedical services creates a dilemma for Indian patients. They encounter a bewildering array of medical services, ranging from qualified traditional medical practitioners to untrained, self-taught purveyors of medicines and cures. Research on Indian healthcare has decried the inefficient distribution of services in rural and urban areas. The studies discussed here reveal the ground reality of the consequences of limited choices for patients, characterised as “forced pluralism,” with no state regulation of type of care, quality of care, or credentials of practitioners.

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