Faith, Trust and the Perinatal Healthcare Maze in Urban India

S. Raman

Abstract


How women access and utilise health services through pregnancy, childbirth and infancy needs to be understood if we are to improve the delivery of and access to appropriate healthcare. Drawing on ethnographic observations of clinic encounters and in-depth interviews with women in Bangalore, South India, this paper reports on the complexities of negotiating healthcare throughout the perinatal continuum in urban India. Key themes identified include faith and trust in health services, confusion over right to healthcare; and the contested nature of choice for women. What is revealed is a socially restrictive framework that results in choices that seem arbitrary, irrational and self-defeating; poor women being particularly vulnerable. Given the current policy support for public-private-partnerships in reproductive healthcare delivery in India, both public and private health services need to move substantially to achieve true partnership and provide care that is respectful and valued by women and children in urban India.


Keywords


Private healthcare, perinatal continuum, access, healthcare utilisation, India

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/hcs.2014.123

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