Handbook of Globalisation and Tourism
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Handbook of Globalisation and Tourism

Edited by Dallen J. Timothy

Globalization entails the world becoming a smaller place through political, socio-cultural and economic processes. These processes have salient implications for tourism, and tourism itself is one of the driving forces behind globalization. This book is a collection of conceptual treatises by international scholars about the dynamics and reach of globalization and its relationships with tourism. It anatomizes and deconstructs the global forces, processes and challenges that face the world of tourism. It is international in scope, encyclopedic in its conceptual depth, empirically evocative, and contemporary in its coverage.
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Chapter 26: Medical mobility and tourism

John Connell


International medical mobility is multifaceted but, since the 1990s, medical tourism has grown rapidly in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, to become a growing and distinctive niche in the tourism industry. About thirty countries are key destinations, especially in south-east Asia, for various procedures from cosmetic surgery to check-ups. Numerous countries are anxious to participate. Much international medical travel is over short distances across nearby borders, resulting in the emergence of distinctive border regions. Patient-travellers are often from the diaspora, or from culturally similar regions. Costs and quality and word of mouth influence choice of destination. Urban bias in medical tourism and uneven development have raised ethical questions in contexts where privatization and destination branding are significant. Transnational hospital chains characterize part of the industry and local needs are marginalized. The political economy of health care is no longer tied to locality.

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