Was Western medicine a positive benefit of colonialism or one of its agents of oppression? This question has prompted a vigorous historical and political debate and is explored here in the context of the 'model' British colony of Ceylon.
In this study, Margaret Jones emphasises the need for both a broad perspective and a more complex analysis. Colonial medicine is critiqued not merelyu in the political and economic context of imperialism but also against the background of human needs and rights. Her research is underscored by a detailed analysis of public health measures and services in Ceylon. One of its key findings is the accommodation achieved between Western and indigenous medicine. Throughout this work, Jones provides nuanced readings of the categories of colonised and coloniser, as well as the concept of colonial medicine.
Health Policy in Britain's Model Colony provides an understanding of historical trends while simultaneously avoiding generalisations that subsume events and actions. Written in a compelling and lucid style, it is a path-breaking contribution to the history of medicine.