Postcolonial Advancements Essay

Postcolonial Advancements Essay

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From the 17th through 20th centuries Western Empires experienced increased ascendency, a result of industrial, technological, and medical advancements. The aggregation of these innovations fostered territorial domination in areas previously inaccessible. The expropriation and commodification of health care and biomedicine occurred under the imperial regime. Once global conflict brought the colonial era to an end, a human rights regime was introduced. Postcolonial health’s bureaucracies were ideologically distinct from previous hegemons, yet their approaches were comparable. Both colonial and postcolonial medical institutions preferred vertical approaches, heavily reliant on biomedicine, while binding commercial economic interest to their criteria for care.

Colonial health institutions were developed to serve specific functions deemed necessary by the Empire. Medical facilities were thinly distributed and offered limited services that were focused mostly on adult men. These men made up expeditionary, military, and labor forces that made resource exploitation possible. The African miner, Indian military personnel, Congolese sap collector were the recipients of limited, often vertical medical resources. Vertical fixes were seen as cost effective therefor ideal. When horizontal approaches were implemented, the reasons were not magnanimous. They were necessary for stabilizing or regularizing institutions that supported the economic interest of the Empire. Concerns over the wellbeing of colonial subjects were in association with the financial interest of the empire. Furthermore, as doctors were also responsible for determining who was healthy and fit for work, health services became a means of population control via biopower. La...


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...stributions of new medical knowledge and technical accomplishments were disseminated at the discretion of the Empire, and in terms favorable to the Empire. This practice is currently employed by the policies of international health organizations. Scientific advances, and knowledge have been re-socialized into a force for production. Colonial medicine was used, and practiced at the discretion of the powerful élite, and today the powerful corporate élite determines what drugs are essential and should be readily available to everyone. Postcolonial bureaucracies have encouraged the pecuniary reconstitution of global health templates. In response the proletariat often forgoes comprehensive health for medicines. As a result, new improvements in biomedicine have unintentionally aided the commodification of the body, while further compelling the capitalization of Health.

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