Advertisement

The Public Health Care Bureaucracy: Narratives from Rural Clinics

  • Md. Faruk ShahEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores how the localization of health care bureaucracy takes place in local socio-economic and political contexts and is shaped by existing power relations, kin networks, social hierarchy and gendered relations. I describe how the local form of bureaucracy (and modernity) has deepened the existing social inequality, especially the disparity in health. I address the reasons why and how both bureaucrats (care providers) and non-bureaucrats (care receivers) are bound to compromise their position, status and expectations with the structure of local bureaucracy in public health centres in Bangladesh. This chapter demonstrates that, in practice, bureaucracies synthesize several native contexts simultaneously. It also shows that bureaucracy is not autonomous in terms of its forms and actions; it is neither Western nor traditional. Rather, in practice, it is a variable social actuality that combines both the essential elements of rational bureaucracy and the local contexts in terms of discipline and flexibility in everyday actions. I describe how this has mainly resulted from wider sociocultural and historical factors of the locality: the postcolonial political system, extreme social hierarchy, the frustration of the populace towards the imagined state, poor governance and corruption within the country.

References

  1. Andersen, H. (2004). “Villagers”: Differential treatment in a Ghanaian hospital. Social Science and Medicine, 59(10), 2003–2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gupta, A. (2012). Red tape: Bureaucracy, structural violence, and poverty in India. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Handelman, D. (1978). Introduction: A recognition of bureaucracy. In D. Handelman & E. Leyton (Eds.), Bureaucracy and world view: Studies in the logic of official interpretation. St. John’s, Newfoundland: Memorial University of Newfoundland.Google Scholar
  4. Heyman, J. (1995). Putting power in the anthropology of bureaucracy: The immigration and naturalization service at the Mexico-United States border. Cultural Anthropology, 36(2), 261–287.Google Scholar
  5. Heyman, J. (2012). Deepening the anthropology of bureaucracy. Anthropology Quarterly, 85(4), 1269–1278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hossain, N. (2010). Rude accountability: Informal pressures on frontline bureaucrats in Bangladesh. Development and Change, 41(5), 907–928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hummel, R. P. (2008). The bureaucratic experience: The post-modern challenge. New York: M. E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  8. Jamil, I. (2002). Administrative culture in Bangladesh: Tensions between tradition and modernity. International Review of Sociology, 12(1), 93–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kleinman, A. (1995). Writing at the margin: Discourse between anthropology and medicine. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  10. Kotalova, J. (1996). Belonging to others: Cultural construction of womanhood in a village in Bangladesh. Dhaka: The University Press Limited.Google Scholar
  11. Lipsky, M. (2010). Street-level bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the individual in public services. New York: Russel Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  12. Maloney, C. (1988). Behaviour and poverty in Bangladesh. Dhaka: University Press.Google Scholar
  13. MOHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare). (2011). Operational plan: Community based health care. Dhaka: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Retrieved from http://maternalnutritionsouthasia.com/wp-content/uploads/National-Operational-Plan-Community-Based-Health-Care.pdf.
  14. Morone, J. A. (1993). The health care bureaucracy: Small changes, big consequence. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 18(3), 723–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mouzelis, N. P. (1969). Organization and bureaucracy: An analysis of modern theories. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Novak, J. (1994). Bangladesh: Reflections on the water. Dhaka: The University Press Limited.Google Scholar
  17. Subedi, M. S. (2005). Corruption in Nepal: An anthropological inquiry. Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 1, 110–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Waldo, D. (1956). Perspectives on administration. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.Google Scholar
  19. Weber, M. (1947). The theory of social and economic organization. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  20. Weber, M. (1978). Economy and society: An outline of interpretive sociology. Berkeley: University of California.Google Scholar
  21. Zaman, S. (2005). Broken limbs, broken lives: Ethnography of a hospital ward in Bangladesh. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Development StudiesUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh

Personalised recommendations