Our public health strategies are further distorted by an over–dependence on medical professionals, particularly doctors. Our preceding sections would have made it clear that several of the vital interventions for promoting health and preventing disease are non–clinical in character, and can be most effectively implemented through non–professionals and para professionals like health workers, ANMs etc. within and outside government, working in active partnership with the community. It has been estimated than 80–90 percent of health problems of the rural and urban poor can be resolved without clinical intervention.
The community of medical professionals, essentially doctors, have resisted and foiled attempts at broad–basing health care, such as the well conceived Community Health Guide scheme of 1977, which was deliberately caricatured as the promotion of quackery. The equation of health with curative services in the mind of the lay public and the effective monopoly and mystification of these services within the medical profession serve the professional and commercial vested interests. It is important that whereas health professionals must be respected for their legitimate critical contribution to disease cure, their monopoly and mystification of all health care must be actively resisted and wider partnerships for public health developed.