chapter  Chapter Five
12 Pages

Medical travel infrastructures

WithCecilia Vindrola-Padros

This chapter explores the structures and processes that frame medical travel at local and global scales, as well as the ways in which these are negotiated by social actors. It analyses evident infrastructures such as state regulation and bilateral agreements for intra-national travel, cross–border care and international travel, but also focus on more elusive and hidden infrastructures in the form of informal actors and brokers. Several ethnographies have explored the growth of medical travel industries across the world, arguing that medical travel is producing new forms of healthcare and transforming existing healthcare infrastructures. The medical travel industry can be seen by government authorities in destination countries as a source of financial profit and an extension of local models of care-seeking to privatize health services. One interesting example of infrastructuring lies with the role of online communities in the shaping of the medical travel infrastructure.