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Colonial Medical Care in North IndiaGender, State, and Society, c. 1830-1920$
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Samiksha Sehrawat

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198096603

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198096603.001.0001

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Financing an Expanding System of Medical Care

Financing an Expanding System of Medical Care

The Colonial State and Its Critics, c. 1890–1920

(p.26) Chapter Two Financing an Expanding System of Medical Care
Colonial Medical Care in North India

Samiksha Sehrawat

Oxford University Press

This chapter charts the growth and expansion of public medical infrastructure between 1880 and 1920. The number of hospitals and dispensaries increased dramatically over the twentieth century as did their popularity with patients, raising questions about how to fund this expanding network. The bulk of funding for these institutions came from local taxation and government grants despite attempts to encourage voluntary subscriptions and hospital fees. In contrast to the increasing involvement of the British government in medical care during this period, the colonial state sought to limit medical expenditure by devolving it to provincial administrations and restricted its role to fostering the voluntary and private sectors, which were expected to provide medical care for the Indian population. Nationalist politicians criticized this policy, and argued for increased state investment in medical care by reducing expenditure on the military and railways.

Keywords:   hospital finance, medical care, nationalism, devolution, colonial medicine, private sector, medical profession, public finance, colonial state

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