Medical tourism by Indian-South Africans to India:an exploratory investigation
AbstractMedical tourism is a well-established sector in developing countries, and attracts a significant number of tourists from developed countries. Medical tourism is a strong driver of economic growth, but some argue that this kind of tourism promotes inequality in terms of access to healthcare facilities in both developing and developed countries. Whilst research has been conducted on medical tourists travelling to South Africa, no research has focused on the geography of South Africans travelling abroad for medical tourist activities. This study therefore sought to obtain first-hand information from Indian-South African citizens who have partaken in medical tourism in India. Data was gathered through personal, semi-structured interviews conducted with 54 individuals. It was ascertained that the majority of the individuals interviewed in this study travelled to India primarily for medical treatment, while tourist activities were a secondary objective. A smaller proportion of interviewees travelled to India for vacation, with medical care being a secondary motivation, or an impulse due to the low cost of treatment and convenience. Medical tourism by Indian-South Africans travelling to India highlights various shortfalls in South African medical care, including a lack of treatment availability, a poorer quality of service, medical expertise abroad, and the higher cost incurred locally.
Ben-Natan, M., Ben-Sefer E.and Ehrenfeld, M., 2009: Medical Tourism: A New Role for Nursing. In: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Vol.14, pp. 8-18. DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol14No03PPT0
Byrne, J.P.,2012: Ayurvedic Medicine. In: Kaminsky, A.P. and Long, R.D.editors, India today: an encyclopedia of life in the republic, Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, pp. 71-72.
Chaudhry, P.K., Kelkar, V.L.and Yadav, V., 2004: The evolution of ‘homegrown conditionality’ in India: IMF relations. In: The Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 40, pp. 59-81. DOI: 10.1080/0022038042000233803
Chee, H.L., 2010: Medical tourism and the state in Malaysia and Singapore. In:Global Social Policy, Vol.10, pp. 336-357. DOI: 10.1177/1468018110379978
Chinai, R. and Goswami, R., 2007: Medical visas mark growth of Indian medical tourism. In: Bulletin of the World Health Organisation, Vol. 85, Issue 3, pp. 164-165. DOI: 10.2471/BLT.07.010307
Connell, J., 2013: Contemporary medical tourism: Conceptualisation, culture and commodification. In: Tourism Management, Vol. 34, pp. 1-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2012.05.009
Coovadia, H., Jewkes, R., Barron, P., Sanders, D.and McIntyre, D., 2009: The health and health system of South Africa: historical roots of current public health challenges. In:The Lancet, Vol.374, pp. 817-834. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60951-X
Crooks, V.A., Turner, L., Snyder, J., Johnston, R. and Kingsbury, P., 2011: Promoting medical tourism to India: Messages, images, and the marketing of international patient travel. In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol.72, pp. 726-732. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.12.022
Crush, J., Chikanda, A. and Maswikwa, B.,2012: Patients without borders: Medical tourism and medical migration in Southern Africa, Cape Town: Megadigital, p. 1-51.
Edmeston, M.,2012: Beyond Band-Aids: Reflections on public and private health care in South Africa. In: The Journal of the Helen Suzman Foundation, Vol. 67, pp. 41-46.
Francis, K., 2012: Private health care and the right to health. In:The Journal of the Helen Suzman Foundation,Vol.67, pp. 47-51.
Gupta, A.S., 2008: Medical tourism in India: Winners and losers. In:Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol.1, pp. 4-5.
Hall, C.M., 2011: Health and medical tourism: a kill or cure for global public health? In:Tourism Review, Vol.66, Issue 1 and 2, pp. 4-15. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/16605371111127198
Hall, C.M., 2013: Medical tourism: the ethics, regulation and marketing of health mobility, New York: Routledge.
Harris, B., Goudge, J., Ataguba, J.E., McIntyre, D., Nxumalo, N., Jikwana, S.and Chersich, M., 2011: Inequalities in access to health care in South Africa. In:Journal of Public Health Policy, Vol.32, pp. 102-123.
Jain, R.K., 2010: Nation, diaspora, trans-nation: Reflections from India, New Dehli: Routledge.
Johnston, R., Crooks, V. and Snyder, J.,2012: “I didn’t even know what I was looking for”: A qualitive study of the decision-making processes of Canadian medical tourists. In:Globalisation and Health, Vol. 8, pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.1186/1744-8603-8-23
Kirk, J., 2011: India and the World Bank: the politics of aid and influence, London: Anthem press.
Kleinert, S. and Horton, R., 2009: South Africa’s Health: departing for a better future? In:The Lancet, Vol.374, pp. 759-760.
Landy, F., Maharaj, B.and Mainet-Valleix, H., 2004: Are people of Indian origin (PIO) “Indian”? A case study South Africa. In:Geoforum, Vol.35, pp. 203-215. DOI: doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2003.08.005
Mayosi, B.M., Lawn, J.E., van Niekerk, A., Bradshaw, D., Abdool Karim, S.S. and Coovadia, H.M., 2012: Health in South Africa: changes and challenges since 2009. In:The Lancet, Vol.380, pp. 2029-2043.
Mazzaschi, A., 2011: Surgeon and safari: Producing valuable bodies in Johannesburg. In: Signs, Vol.36, pp. 303-312. DOI: 10.1086/655941
McIntyre, D.I., Gilson, L., Wadee, H., Thiede, M.and Okarafor, O., 2006: Commercialisation and extreme inequality in health: The policy challenges in South Africa. In:Journal of International Development, Vol.18, pp. 435-446. DOI: 10.1002/jid.1293
Meghani, Z., 2011: A robust, particularist ethical assessment of medical tourism. In: Developing World Bioethics, Vol.11, pp. 16-29. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-8847.2010.00282.x
Ormond, M. and Sulianti, D., 2014: More than medical tourism: lessons from Indonesia and Malaysia on South-South intra-regional medical travel. In: Current Issues in Tourism. DOI: 10.1080/13683500.2014.937324
Perfetto, R.and Dholakia, N., 2010: Exploring cultural contradictions of medical tourism. In:Consumption Markets & Culture, Vol.13, Issue 4, pp. 399-417. DOI: 10.1080/10253866.2010.502417
Pinchuck, T., McCrea, B. and Reid, D., 2002: The rough guide to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, Third Edition, London: Rough Guides Limited.
Reddy S.and Qadeer I., 2010: Medical tourism in India: Progress or predicament? In:Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.45, pp. 69-75.
Shishana, O., Rehle, T., Louw, J., Zungu-Dirwayi, N., Dana, P. and Rispel, L., 2006: Public perceptions on national health insurance: Moving towards universal health coverage in South Africa. In:South African Medical Journal, Vol.96, pp. 814-818.
Smith, K., 2012: The problematization of medical tourism: A critique of neoliberism. In:Developing World Bioethics, Vol.12, pp. 1-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-8847.2012.00318.x
Söderlund, N., Schierhout, G. and van den Heever, A.,1998: Private health care in South Africa: Technical report to chapter 13 of the SA health review, Durban: Health System Trust.
Strolley, K. and Watson, S., 2012:Medical tourism: A reference handbook,Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
Suchday, S., Ramanayake, N.P., Benkhoukha, A., Santoro, A.F., Marquez, C. and Nakao, G., 2014: Yoga, meditation, and other alternative methods for wellness: prevalence and use in the United States. In: Gurung, R.A.R.editor,Multicultural approaches to health and wellness in America, Santa Barbara: Praeger, pp. 125-150.
Visagie, J., 2013: Income groups: things are tight around the middle. In: Mail & Guardian. Accessed on August 15 2014 from http://mg.co.za/article/2013-08-02-00-things-are-tight-around-the-middle .
Ye, B.H., Qui, H.Z. and Yuen, P.P., 2011: Motivations and experiences of Mainland Chinese medical tourists in Hong Kong. In:Tourism Management, Vol.32, pp. 1125-1127. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2010.09.018
Yu, J.Y.and Ko, T.G., 2012: A cross-cultural study of perceptions of medical tourism among Chinese, Japanese and Korean tourists in Korea. In:Tourism Management, Vol.33, pp. 80-88. DOI: doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2011.02.002
How to Cite
LicenseTitle, logo and layout of journal Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series are reserved trademarks of Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series.
Number of views and downloads: 249
Number of citations: 8