Camilo Sanz

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Oklahoma, U of

Grant number

Gr. 10383

Approve Date

October 11, 2022

Project Title

Sanz, Camilo (Oklahoma, U of) "Oncopolitics of Exhaustion: Cancer, biomedical practices and health insurance businesses in neoliberal Colombia"

CAMILO SANZ, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2022 to aid research and writing on “Oncopolitics of Exhaustion: Cancer, Biomedical Practices and Health Insurance Businesses in Neoliberal Colombia.” The resulting publication, “Cancer Intersections: Biomedicine, Health Insurance, and the Paradoxes of Health Care Reform in Neoliberal Colombia,” reveals how physicians provide care for cancer patients as they juggle the side-effects of the 1993 neoliberal health care reform. Drawing on two years of ethnographic fieldwork with health insurance agents, oncologists, and cancer patients at hospitals in the city of Cali, Cancer Intersections shows how the mandate for “universal” health care fails to translate into prompt and equitable access for all Colombians. On the contrary, when low-income cancer patients cannot pay prescribed treatments classified as “high cost,” they are forced to endure a contradictory temporality between the time needed by the insurance company to get a financial return on its investments on the one hand, and the time during which accessing chemotherapy would be beneficial on the other. The result is an ethnographically obvious extreme “class-based” practice of medicine. Cancer Intersections, hence, discusses the ways in which the insurance industry’s financial innerworkings and the universal health care mandate influence physicians’ medical practices and their consequences.