VI Monograph: Medicine and Commitment

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Medicine began as an art and gradually evolved into a science over the centuries. It was conceived in sympathy and was born out of necessity. It is based on intuitive and observational propositions. It is the cumulative experience of the medical man and his branch. It has drawn richly from traditional cultures of which it was a part, later on from biological and natural science, and more recently from social and behavioural sciences. Its principle value is health and its only worthwhile goal can be ‘Health for All’. Any account of medicine at a given period must be viewed in relation to the civilisation and human advancement at that time. It is intimately related to their philosophy and religion, economic conditions, form of government, education, value accorded to scientific attitude, and the aspirations and awareness of the people.

Better health care is the sign of a more evolved society. Moreover, health problems cannot be solved in isolation. They will ultimately be part of our struggle for a more egalitarian society. Neither can it be done by passing the buck. The government can conveniently pass on the blame to the people’s ignorance and the medical man’s noncooperation. The people can equally conveniently blame the government’s ineptitude and the medical man’s dereliction of duty. And the medical man can equally well blame the government’s callousness and the people’s lethargy.

The time for such games-playing is past. Only a popular realisation and an active movement of All for Health can ensure the benefits of medicine and Health for All.

This is a commitment in honour.

As is said, “Politics is too important a matter to be left to politicians, we may similarly say, “Health is too important a matter to be left to doctors, and governments, alone.” *


* Adapted from, “War is too serious to be left to the generals”, Charles - Maurice de Talleyrand)(Attr.)

Mens Sana Monographs [MSM]: A Mens Sana Research Foundation Publication