Whoever heard of Alma Ata? 

In the headlong rush to embrace market-friendly solutions, our governments are letting go of their responsibilities for public health. The Health for All slogan is but an embarrassing reminder of idealistic days long past.

The Man in Black on the flight to Dhaka could have been a photographer on his way to cover the People's Health Assembly. After all, this meeting on globalisation, poverty and health had attracted worldwide attention and the international press. As it turned out, the gentleman was an architect from Bangalore carrying designs for the Dhaka branch of the Madras-based Apollo Hospital chain, which has plans to nurse the Bangladeshi elite back to good health. Even as all over South Asia the well-to-do are beginning to access the best in medical care via the medium of organisations such as Apollo, the divide between the medical haves and public health have-nots, has begun to expand rapidly.

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Himal Southasian