148 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
ttee which was accepted as the blue print for the development of India's post-Independence health care system. Culturally enslaved by the West and alienated from their own people, they have not only failed to appreciate the importance of our own health culture and indigenous systems of medicine, but have denigrated these even more vehemently than their Western mentors to whom they are beholden.
If the World Bank had chosen to study these reports and the role of the allopathic profession in the conversion of our people's health into illness, and illness into a major business and industry, in conformity with its US role model, and sincerely wished to help our country, the prescription offered would have been entirely different. Unfortunately, this may not have been in conformity with the Bank's overall policy which seems to be to further promote the Westernised and privatised model of its chief founder, namely the USA, which has proved to be both a medical as well as an economic disaster in its own country.
The World Bank prescription is being accepted without a murmur of protest by our elite, including the medical profession, health industry, bureaucracy and the majority of our politicians, as they are the chief beneficiaries of such a policy both economically as well as recipients of such medical care which they think is of a superior nature. In doing so they little realise the dangers of gross overinvestigation and overmedication which they are now being subjected to. They not only monopolise the sophisticated urban public health services, but are simultaneously the vociferous advocates of the private sector with its capitation fee medical colleges which help to provide a lucrative profession for their children; an over-proliferated sector based, like its role model, on unadulterated human greed which now poses a new threat to the health of the rich, middle class as well as even to that of the poor who are now forced to divert 8 per cent of their expenditure from food to "strength giving" vitamins, tonics and intravenous glucose drips.
The Bank seems to be delightfully oblivious of the wheelings and dealings of this private sector. In nexus with the pharmaceutical and medical instrumentation industry, this sector now controls three quarters of our country's Rs. 25,000 crore health expenditure equivalent to 6 per cent of our GDP which is the highest of all need-based economies. The pharmaceutical industry dominated by foreign multinationals produces over 60,000 drugs and formulations while the WHO recommends 258. Bangladesh reduced the number to 3,500 drugs. This was stoutly opposed by the World Bank which supported the US and its multinational corporate controlled pharmaceutical industry, thus revealing where its interest lies.
In advocating competition rather than cooperationó which has been the concept of more civilized non-Western societiesó the World Bank is promoting the greed-based philosophy of the West with its