Handbook on Medical Tourism and Patient Mobility
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Handbook on Medical Tourism and Patient Mobility

Edited by Neil Lunt, Daniel Horsfall and Johanna Hanefeld

The growth of international travel for purposes of medical treatment has been accompanied by increased academic research and analysis. This Handbook explores the emergence of medical travel and patient mobility and the implications for patients and health systems. Bringing together leading scholars and analysts from across the globe, this unprecedented Handbook examines the regional and national experiences of medical tourism, including coverage of the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The chapters explore topics on issues of risk, law and ethics; and include treatment-focused discussions which highlight patient decision-making, patient experience and treatment outcomes for cosmetic, transplantation, dentil, fertility and bariatric treatment.
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Chapter 20: Diasporic medical return: Korean immigrants’ use of homeland medical services

Jane Yeonjae Lee, Robin A. Kearns and Wardlow Friesen


This chapter explores the phenomenon of migrants travelling back to their country of origin for health care. Specifically, we reflect on the nature of diasporic populations and their health care practices, situating our enquiry at the intersection of literatures on home, therapeutic spaces and health care consumption. We then examine the case of Korean immigrants to New Zealand making trips to their homeland to obtain medical operations. Using semi-structured in-depth interviews we focus on the question of why and how first generation Koreans in Auckland, New Zealand, seek medical services in their country of birth. Narratives yielded suggest that strong preferences for decisive and comprehensive treatment in culturally comfortable settings are revealed. The study highlights a particular link between health and place: that if financially able, immigrant patients from this diasporic population will seek not only effectively but also affectively satisfying medical care in their country of origin.

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