Modern Medicine Of Indi A Popular Destination For Protestant Missionaries

807 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 4 Pages
While traditional medicine, specifically Ayurveda, has existed in India for thousands of years, the subcontinent lacked a formal health care system until the arrival of the British in the 17th century. The first Western medical professionals arrived on British East India Company ships in 1608, and in 1664 the Madras General Hospital opened as India‚Äôs first hospital, serving only British soldiers. The East India Company established colonial rule in 1757 then founded the first medical department seven years later. Over the next 200 years of colonization, the British built many hospitals, health centers, and medical schools as well as creating many laws and policies from standardizing medical education to planning disease control. The British military and government, however, were not the only influential actor in the introduction of Western medicine to India. Beginning in the 1800s, India became a very popular destination for Protestant missionaries due to the British presence in the country. By the middle of the century, more than a quarter of all Protestant missionaries in the world were stationed in India. These missionaries were much more involved in providing civilian care than the official medical establishment with missionary facilities treating more than 3 million patients a year (Calvi and Mantovanelli 2015). Throughout the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, civilian medical services increased, both from the government and missionaries. Meanwhile, the…

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