Much research on ‘medical tourism’, ‘international medical travel’, ‘cross-border healthcare’ and ‘transnational patient mobility’ to date has focused on the hopes, motivations and experiences of mobile patients as well as on the desires, plans and expectations of the national destinations that attract and host them. By contrast, scant scholarly work has examined the concrete effects of this growing phenomenon on the diverse range of places, peoples, health and social systems, and industries in the areas where these patients habitually reside and, for medical travel destinations, in the particular local areas where these patients’ (physical, symbolic and economic) presence can most be felt.
This two-day conference therefore aims to bring together scholars from academic and research institutions from around the globe in order to critically examine and discuss existing and emerging national, sub-national, transnational and cross-sectoral strategies for the following:
- Promoting and dissuading ‘medical tourism’ and ‘transnational patient mobility’ in and between source and destination sites, in order to draw attention to the diversity of stakeholders, interests and scales involved;
- Evaluating and managing the range of real and expected impacts of (diverse stakeholders’ investments in) ‘medical tourism’ and ‘transnational patient mobility’ in and between source and destination sites, in order to move beyond an unproductive circulation of often poorly-grounded claims and counter-claims; and
- Identifying and assessing the real-life needs, desires, expectations and practices of a broader range of foreign healthcare-users and -consumers, in order to recognise not only the great diversity of mobile patients (e.g., geographical origins, socio-economic and political status, etc.) but also other resident ‘foreigners’ (e.g., expatriates, lifestyle migrants, foreign students, etc.) who make use of ‘medical tourism’ resources.