The hospital has for many years been the symbol of modern, scientific medicine. Indeed, it was in the hospital that modern Western medicine was born. But until recently we had little idea of how or why these iconic medical institutions developed outside the Western World. From Western Medicine to Global Medicine provides the first book-length account of the hospital’s emergence in Asia, Africa and other non-Western contexts. Its essays examine various facets of hospital medicine from eighteenth century onwards, including interaction with indigenous traditions of healing and with economic and political issues during the colonial and post-colonial periods. An introductory essay provides an overview of the varied trajectories of institutional development taking place outside Europe and North America, while the individual contributions-from historians, anthropologists and sociologists-provide important insights into the varied uses and forms which hospitals have taken in non-Western contexts.
This interdisciplinary volume will provide an indispensable introduction to anyone seeking to understand the globalisation of Western medicine over the past century or so. It will be invaluable to historians seeking to place Western medicine within broad historical processes such as imperialism and modernisation, as well to those who seeks to know more about the peculiarities of specific contexts. Analysts of contemporary medical policy and medical cultures will also find critical insights into the factors determining the nature and success of medical interventions.