Faculty Advisor

Pierre, Ly

Area of Study

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Publication Date

Summer 2011


What circumstances prevent or hinder people in Himachal Pradesh, India from getting the health care they need? This question framed a summer research project in India in 2011. The project focused on qualitative personal interviews to collect stories and perceptions of the health care system. The gathered stories bring to life the health statistics found in public health journals. While health care officials presented a version of the health care system that spoke of all its strengths, the stories from the people living in poor regions of Dharamshala, India uncovered flaws in the health system. A recurrent theme among the locals was the inability to afford even the most basic health services. While hospital visits are free, patients must pay for all physical supplies used in the health service. Additionally, unforeseen circumstances sometimes prevent people from getting the care they need. Among other stories, this paper includes the story of Viki who lived in the ‘tent houses’ in Dharamshala who could not afford to get surgery for his eye.


University of Puget Sound