University of Connecticut

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HRI Lunchtime Seminar, César Abadía-Barrero

Monday, April 13, 2015
12:30pm – 2:00pm

Storrs Campus
Dodd 162

Please join the Human Rights Institute for a talk by Professor Cesar Abadia-Barrero titled "For Profit Management of the Right to Health Consequences in Colombia." The talk will begin at 12:30pm in the Dodd Center, room 162. Lunch will be served.

The privatization of the Colombian social security system started with Law 100 of 1993, which introduced a form of managed care in which for-profit insurance companies receive all the system's finances to administer individual health and pension insurance policies. In this HRI Lunchtime Seminar, I will present data from different interrelated projects that deal with the consequences of market-based health care reform in health care institutions, providers and patients. 1) An ethnography of the privatization of the country's main university public hospital shows the challenges of adopting for-profit managerial strategies without compromising care. 2) A doctoral dissertation about the transformation of the labor conditions of physicians shows how they have been subjected to managerial control and the consequences of the deepening pauperization and flexibilization of their work for the practice of medicine. 3) An analysis of the experiences of patients dealing with the health care system shows how a tradition of "charity-based" care for the poor is now embedded in a kind of citizenship in which the right to consume health care services is granted through the use of legal constitutional mechanisms for the protection of the right to health. These sets of interdependent research data present a broader picture of how global markets transform health politics and alter everyday institutional practices, patient-doctor interactions, labor conditions and even the concept of citizenship itself in regards to the right to health. The data show "unintended consequences" of the accumulation by dispossession, a concept that David Harvey proposed as a way to understand how capital resolves its crisis of accumulation by expanding its influence to "spaces" such as the right to health. The "unintended consequences" of such capital expansion in health care allows us to see particularities in a country where the accumulation of capital during the neoliberal era goes hand in hand with novel forms of destruction of lives and life projects, along with the corruption, illegitimacy, and illegality that characterize much of its democratic era.


Lyndsay Nalbandian at

Human Rights Institute (primary), UConn Master Calendar

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