Medical and health tourism is a significant area of growth in the export of medical, health and tourism services. Although spas and improved well-being have long been part of the tourist experience, health tourism now includes travel for medical purposes ranging from cosmetic and dental surgery through to transplants and infertility treatment. Many countries including China, Cuba, Hungary, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore actively promote and compete for the medical tourist dollar, while many developed countries also provide niche private services. However, the field of medical tourism is increasingly being subject to scrutiny and debate, particularly as a result of concerns over regulatory, ethical and wider health issues.
Drawing on a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives, this book is one of the first to critically address the substantial political, philosophical and ethical issues that arise out of the transnational practices of medical tourism. Through a series of chapters the book engages with key issues such as the role of regulatory and policy structures in influencing medical and health tourism related mobilities. These issues are investigated by considering range of developing and developed countries, medical systems and health economic perspectives.
The book adopts a multi-layered perspective to not only investigate the business and marketing practices of medical and health tourism but places these within a broader framework of contemporary globalisation, policy and practice. By doing so it opens up debate of the ethical space in which medical and health tourism operates as well as reinforce the wide ranging perspectives that exist on the subject in both the public and academic imagination.
This significant contribution will be of interest to students, academics in tourism and medical policy, trade and economic development fields.
Part 1: Introductory Context 1. Medical and Health Tourism: The Development and Implications of Medical Mobility Part 2: Regulation and Meta-Ethics 2. Quality, Safety and Risk in Medical Tourism 3. The Four Modes of Medical Tourism: Economic, Social and Institutional Impediments 4. Medical Tourism, Xenotourism and Client Expectations: Between Bioscience and Responsibilization Part 3: National and Regional Policy, Regulatory and Competitive Settings 5. Impacts of Health Policy on Medical Tourism in Germany 6. Thermal versus Surgical Medical Tourism in Hungary: Reconciling Public and Private Sector Policies 7. Health Spa Tourism in the Czech and Slovak Republic 8. Macao’s Cross-border Medical Tourism: A New Way Forward? Part 4: Branding, Markets & Promotion 9. Branding Medical and Health Tourism Services: An Analysis of Members of Public Health Insurers in Germany 10. An Investigation of Korean Health Tourists’ Behaviour: Benefit-sought, Brand Equity, and Intention to Visit 11. Medical Tourism in Asia: Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and India 12. Claiming ‘Cultural Competence’: The Promotion of Multi-ethnic Malaysia as a Medical Tourism Destination Part 5: Conclusion: The Contested Spaces of Medical Tourism 13. The Contested Futures and Spaces of Medical Tourism