Celebrating MFC@50: Thematic Anthologies

Since its inception, the Medico Friend Circle (MFC) has been actively involved in various endeavours, including the periodic publication of anthologies.

In 1977, MFC marked its publishing debut with the anthology “In Search of Diagnosis,” curated by Editor Ashvin J. Patel. This anthology, a compilation of select writings from the MFC Bulletins, delineated the organization’s intellectual odyssey since its establishment in 1976. Subsequently, MFC continued to contribute to the discourse with significant anthologies such as “Health Care: Which Way to Go?” (1982; Editors Abhay Bang and Ashvin Patel) and “Medical Education Re-examined” (1991; Editor Dhruv Mankad).

To commemorate the milestone of MFC’s 50th year in 2024, a series of anthologies on various themes was initiated. These anthologies, sourced from the material spanning from 1976 to 2023, includes content from the MFC bulletin, background papers for the MFC Annual and mid-annual meets, and discussions within the MFC E-forum. It aims to offer insight into MFC’s discussions on diverse themes and provide a comprehensive overview of the organization’s discourse on various topics.

We are confident that these anthologies will serve as invaluable resources for both current and future generations working in the health sector. We hope that they will not only commemorate the achievements of the past but also inspire future generations to uphold the noble pursuit of promoting equitable and accessible healthcare for all. 


Essays on Discrimination, Health and Healthcare: An MFC Anthology

Sana Contractor, Prabir Chatterjee, R Srivatsan

Published – 2024

This volume provides a glimpse into MFC writings between 1976 and 2023 that deal primarily and extensively with discrimination based on caste hierarchy and communal hatred as they affect health and healthcare. It also touches on the problems of gender discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals insofar as the threat to their wellbeing is now becoming more visible and is a topic of public debate, judicial decision, and legislation. This anthology is categorized according to time periods, themes and type of writing.

Pharma Industry-Doctor-Regulator Nexus in India: Critical Reflections and Alternatives An Anthology of Articles on Pharma Issues in the MFC Bulletin, 1976-2023

Anant Phadke, ‘Chinu’ S. Srinivasan

Published – 2024

This anthology provides an annotated bibliography of MFC’s rich engagement with the theme of pharma industry over the five decades. As with the other anthologies, this is preceded by an Introduction which contextualises these debates and discussions with the major policies and external events around the pharma sector in the respective decades.

Political Economy of Private Healthcare in India: An Anthology through the MFC Lens

Ravi Duggal and Bijoya Roy

Published – 2024

This anthology brings forth the perspectives of MFC’s engagements with the issue of the private health sector in India during the period 1976-2023. Issues examined include Characteristics of Private Healthcare, the Workforce in Private Healthcare, Patient Experiences in the Private Sector, Commercialisation of Healthcare Provisioning, Private Capital in Healthcare, and Regulation of Private Healthcare.

Pushing Boundaries and Rewriting Contours: An Anthology of MFC Women & Health Writings

Lakshmi Lingam, C. Sathyamala, Padma Prakash, Renu Khanna, Bijoya Roy

Published – 2024

Drawing on MFC’s engagement with women’s health issues during the period 1976-2023, this anthology showcases the manner in which the feminist/ gender perspective broadened and reshaped the understanding of medical knowledge, health governance, health care delivery, and access to health not only as rights and justice issues but also as gender equality issues. Issues covered here include Critiquing the Biomedical Paradigm through Feminist Perspectives on Health, Strengthening Maternal Health Care Services, Contraception & Abortion Rights, Nurses as Health Care Functionaries, Population Policies and Discourses, Women’s Work and Health, Critical Perspectives on Research, and Women’s Health in Conflict Situations.


C. Sathyamala.

Published – 2000

A monograph which examines the safety aspects of Depo-Provera.


Ed. Ashvin J.Patel

First published December 1977. Reprinted May 1985

First anthology of bulletin articles. Issues covered include Health Service Evolution, Medical Education, National Health Policy, Alternatives in Health Care, Population Problem, Drug Industry, Nutritional Problem in India, Protein Gap Myth, Community Health, and Tonics.


Ed. Abhay Bang and Ashvin Patel

Published October 1982

Second anthology of bulletin articles. Includes (Examination of issues and alternatives) Drug Issues, Lathyrism, Water Supply, Oral Rehydration Therapy, Problems of Nurses, Community Health Workers, Dai Training, Government Rural Health Scheme, Political Dimensions of Health and MFC debate on which way to go.


Ed. Dhruv Mankad

Published 1991

Medical Education Re-examined is an anthology of articles from the MFC bulletin and papers presented at the conference on Alternative Medical Curriculum held at Gonoshasthaya Kendra, Bangladesh as well as at the X Annual meet of the MFC held at Calcutta. It looks closely at the training of doctors in India and makes an effort to present a comprehensive argument for a change in the orientation and content of the existing medical curriculum, providing some pointers to the direction of such a change.


Co-ordinators : Ashvin Patel, Anil Patel, Daxa Patel, Nimitta Bhatt, Manisha Gupte, Padma Prakash, Mira Sadgopal, Marie D’Souza, Shirish Datar, Anant Phadke, C. Sathyamala.

Published – March 1985

DISTORTED LIVES : Women’s Reproductive Health and Bhopal Disaster

Chief Investigator & Coordinator: C Sathyamala, Survey Design: Anil Patel, Imrana Qadeer

Published – October 1990

A community based epidemiological study of the effect of the toxic gases on the menstrual pattern and pregnancy outcomes in women affected by the Bhopal gas leak disaster