Medical Travel/Tourism and the City

Authored by: Meghann Ormond , Heidi Kaspar

Handbook of Global Urban Health

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138206250
eBook ISBN: 9781315465456
Adobe ISBN:


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Transnational medical travel/tourism, by and large, involves travel to cities and metropolitan areas. Only urban areas possess the sufficient volume and variety of world-class medical expertise, cutting-edge technology, transportation infrastructure, communication and mediation facilities, and hospitality services and infrastructure to become prominent transnational medical travel destinations. Yet how cities and transnational flows of patients, standards and capital interact to generate new urban assemblages and new assemblages of healthcare is a story that has yet to really be told. While research on transnational medical travel/tourism is becoming more nuanced, involving a broader variety of perspectives, actors and medical mobilities, attention thus far to urban areas has been largely implicit and, thus, conceptually under-explored and -utilised. In this chapter, we argue for a relational approach to the urban as well as to transnational healthcare. We focus on how elements become mobile, circulate and assemble to form medical travel/tourism and how this assembling entangles with the elements and relations that constitute the urban. The presented cases show that networks are fluid and constantly being made, as elements entangle and disentangle and, through relational processes of dissociation and re-association, themselves transform.

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