Contemporary Medical Pluralism in Burma

Monique Skidmore

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter


Every day in Central Burma, Burmese people engage with their pluralistic medical
system. As with medical systems all over the world, in Central Burma, confusing,
competing and contradictory logics govern the use of this medical system by
Burmese people. Central Burma can be defined as the deltas and valleys of the
Ayeyarwady River, where the population is divided between the large population
centres of Yangon, Mandalay, Pathein and Mawlamyaing and the many villages
that surround the river and its tributaries. The aim in this chapter is to present
a cultural understanding of the ways in which Burma’s pluralistic medical system
has been transformed through the past century or so. It examines the relationship
between private and public healthcare systems and controversy about the use
and provision of humanitarian and in-country aid, before examining transnational
and cross-border forms of health provision accessed by Burmese people in their
search for affordable and curative medicines. It seeks to make more complex
analysis of the provision of health care by considering how users encounter and
negotiate their way through the Burmese medical system. Finally, it considers
some of the longer-term consequences that a lack of the right to health is bringing
about in Burma
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDictatorship, Disorder and Decline in Myanmar
EditorsM Skidmore, T Wilson
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherANU E Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781921536328
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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