Flushed with excitement over the panacea medical tourism seems to promise for so many, have stakeholders paused long enough in the construction of the medical tourism industry to reflect on the striking economic, social, political and technological imbalances in both home and destination countries underlying the relatively novel phenomenon of medical tourism? What has actually been democratized and levelled, and for whom? This chapter geographically situates medical tourism supply and demand as well as responsibility for it by exploring what is where, why it’s there, and the challenges we face in caring about this uneven distribution.
Tapping into migrants’ diverse tacit healthcare knowledge can bring a range of stakeholders in countries of origin great insight, at both macro- and micro-levels, not only into how to improve on local healthcare delivery but also how to effectively respond to the needs and interests of ‘medical tourists’ and other types of travellers and migrants. This chapter reviews recent literature on migration and ‘medical tourism’ in order to look in greater detail at the role, first, of migrant patients and, second, of migrant health workers in the development of Global South destinations’ ‘medical tourism’ industries. It offers a series of lessons drawn from the many examples of migrant knowledge transfer and barriers presented.
Closed adoptions – where birth and adoption records are legally sealed to obscure adoptees’ biological parentage – were once the norm in many Western Anglophone countries. Grassroots resistance to closed adoption relied upon the belief that deprivation of knowledge of their true biological origins could lead to psychological trauma among adoptees. In this chapter, the author reflects on her own mother’s sense of deprivation, her desire for a coherent origin story and her consequent process of cobbling together disparate analogue, digital and biotechnical fragments of legally, religiously, scientifically, commercially and familiarly authorised and authorising heritages from among diverse resources rendered intelligible, relevant and truthful by societal and (bio)technological transformations over time. In so doing, the author calls attention to complicated power relations in everyday personal heritage practices that challenge the simplistic pitting of ‘heritage from below’ (Iain Robertson, Heritage from Below, 2012) against ‘Authorised Heritage Discourse’ (AHD) (Laurajane Smith, Uses of Heritage, 2006).
Meghann Ormond and Tomas Mainil
This chapter provides an overview of current government and governance strategies relative to medical tourism development and management around the world. Most studies on medical tourism have privileged national governments as key actors in medical tourism regulation and, in some cases, even facilitation and provision. However, with the multiplication of supra- and sub-national regions, each with their own distinct responsibilities and levels of autonomy, it is important to consider the various nested and overlapping governance types and practices at play in medical tourism. This chapter, therefore, identifies how governments at various levels (e.g., national, sub-national, supra-national) in both source and host contexts play different, yet often overlapping, roles relative to medical tourism as facilitator, regulator and provider.