Picture credit: Benjamin Hunter
Urban transformations offer significant opportunities for real estate development and the building of healthcare facilities has been given high profile in modernisation discourse alongside condominiums, shopping malls, hotels and IT parks. Industrial or agricultural land use is being converted to accommodate construction of vast ‘medicities’ or ‘health cities’ – comprising super-speciality hospitals focused offering cutting edge technology for specific conditions (cardiology, nephrology, endocrinology, joint replacement), medical training facilities and laboratories. But who really benefits from these transformations?
We examine these imagined healthcare places and the political economy of their development. To date our work has focused on India, where a plethora of plans for “medicities” in different states have been announced in the press media since 2007. They aim to provide large-scale “one-stop-shops” of super-speciality medical services supplemented by diagnostics and other aspects of healthcare and lifestyle consumption. Most healthcare in this situation is provided by private healthcare facilities that require private insurance or high out-of-pocket expenditure that leads to debt and impoverishment for many Indian families each year.
Murray SF., Bisht, R. and E. Pitchforth. (2016) Emplacing India’s “medicities”. Health & Place, 42:69-78