(Re)placing health and health care: Mapping the competing discourses and practices of 'traditional' and 'modern' Thai medicine

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Abstract

In the wake of the AIDS crisis, 'traditional' Thai medicine has received new attention as a means by which people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) can receive some level of care. The revitalization of Thai medicine, however, is complicated by the competing organizational politics and social dynamics that regulate discourses and practices of health and health care in Thailand. This paper examines how Thai medicine is being (re)placed in the context of competing health-care systems and practices. Specifically, this analysis focuses on the complex interrelationships between 'traditional,' holistic medicine and 'modern,' allopathic medicine in a Thai context; and investigates the role of 'Thai medicine' (phaet phaen thai) and 'village medicine' (phaet pheun baan) as part of governmental and non-governmental efforts to provide health care to PLWHA in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The provisioning of such health care, however, takes place within the context of a struggle over 'local knowledge' and 'global change' and the ways in which places are organized in relation to the available treatment regimens for HIV/AIDS care. What this paper suggests is that the meanings of health and health care are inextricably linked to the complex, contested nature of social relations as they flow in, and are reworked through, particular places.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages59-73
Number of pages15
JournalHealth and Place
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

medicine
health care
discourse
health
Modern 1601-history
Delivery of Health Care
Health
AIDS
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Medicine
acquired immune deficiency syndrome
HIV
human immunodeficiency virus
traditional medicine
Thailand
Traditional Medicine
holistic medicine
global change
Social Relations
village

Keywords

  • Health-care geographies
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Development
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

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