Anthrologica - Anthropology of Global Health

Gombak Hospital

Malaysia

Gombak Hospital is the only hospital specifically for the Orang Asli, the indigenous minority of Peninsular Malaysia. Focusing on the Hospital and its network of outstation services, this project explored the relationship between the nation state and the Orang Asli through the lens of healthcare provision and asked how the medical services contributed to their notion of being indigenous. The research was conducted intensively during 2004 and 2005 using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods and was shaped by patient experiences and perspectives.

Based at Gombak, the project encompassed the mobile services run by the Hospital, both land-based services and the flying doctor service that visits isolated villages in the remote interior of the Peninsula. Conducted with permission from the Department of Orang Asli Affairs and the Prime Ministers Office, this research was the first anthropological study to examine the Government's medical provision for the Orang Asli. Of particular focus was the high incidence of leprosy among the community.

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