The Indian Corporate Hospitals: Touching Middle Class Lives

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[EN] The main argument of this paper is that today these hospitals are one the most efficient vehicles that promote consumerism in healthcare. If we consider consumerism as an ideology, then the corporate hospital, as a place, is like the manifesto in the field of healthcare, which through place marketing, are promoting newer perspectives of health service delivery and health. These places are creating confusion among the patients by mixing different symbols and signs from the consumption society. The mythical dimension attached to the corporate hospitals is interesting as it echoes some of the values attached to consumerism and the Indian middle class. The promotion of the personal history of the founders, the location strategy or the marketing strategy can offer interesting elements to understand how healthcare has gradually being commodified in India. The final outcome of such nexus between healthcare and consumerism can be seen in the “medicity” or “health city” projects that are mushrooming in the suburbs of Delhi, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. We previously described some elements of disneyization (Bryman, 2004), like hybrid consumption, performative labour or merchandising that Bryman found to be originated from Disney theme park. The main objective is to nurture more profits for hospitals through increased synergies and theming.

Reference

Lefebvre, Bertrand (2008) « The Indian Corporate Hospitals: Touching Middle Class Lives »,in Jaffrelot, C., Van der Veer, P. (éds) Patterns of Middle Class Consumption in India and China, Sage, New Delhi, pp. 88-109

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