What next for decolonising health and medicine?
This podcast and article series in The BMJ delves into the enduring impact of colonialism and the pressing need for transformative change. The growing call for decolonization seeks to examine how colonial history has shaped contemporary systems of race, class, and gender, urging a move toward a more equitable society. This initiative underscores that decolonization extends beyond political independence, encompassing efforts to rebuild institutions and knowledge systems while eradicating the cultural and social legacies of colonial violence, racism, misogyny, and Eurocentrism. In the context of healthcare, the colonial legacy has significantly influenced medical practices, from the exploitation of enslaved populations to the establishment of western scientific paradigms. It has led to health inequities, marginalization, and biased healthcare outcomes. The series aims to spotlight the perspectives of marginalized communities and scholars, advocating for the incorporation of diverse voices in the decolonization movement. It also explores the need for radical changes to create a just and inclusive healthcare and knowledge system. The discussions in the podcast series underscore the importance of addressing gender inequities, racism, and structural violence in the pursuit of decolonization, emphasizing the necessity for healthcare institutions to yield power to grassroots and community expertise.
Clark J, Hurley R, Ladher N, Jarvies D. What next for decolonising health and medicine? BMJ 2023; 383 :p2302 doi:10.1136/bmj.p2302