Rethinking care through transnational health and long-term care practices

Ormond, M.E.; Toyota, Mika


With more people living longer than ever before, populations’ medical and long-term care needs are increasingly placing strain on individual and collective resources and capacities. National governments are gradually withdrawing from responsibility for direct welfare provision for their citizenries and adopting neoliberal policies that facilitate and expand market-based involvement in health and social care. This has profoundly (re-)structured care relations by (re-)domesticating, individualizing, and commoditizing responsibility (Huang, Thang and Toyota, 2012; Raghuram, Madge and Noxolo, 2009). Yet, while much earlier research focused on this (re-)distribution of care responsibility within countries, a growing literature traces how formal and informal health- and social-care provision extends well beyond the national. The transnational (i.e., spanning of international borders) dimension of health and long-term care has been significantly heightened not only by neoliberal trade policies facilitating transnational flows of people, goods, and services, but also by advancements in communication technologies and biotechnological innovation (Gatrell, 2011; Sparke, 2009).