ABSTRACT

The forces of globalisation have led to a more transnational and international focus for health policy, funding and service delivery (Lunt 2006; Smith et al. 2009). On the demand side in the new global market for health care are an increasing number of patients who are willing to travel across international borders to receive health care services. Such movement typically involves individuals from higher income countries paying out of their own pocket and travelling to less developed areas of the world to receive treatment. The distance travelled varies from intercontinental travel (Europe and North America to Asia, for example) and shorter cross-border trips (travel within Europe and the United States to neighbouring countries). On the supply side, new providers are springing up to tap in to this lucrative market (Ehrbeck et al. 2008; Cormany and Baloglu 2010; Lunt and Carrera 2010). This internationalisation of health care provision presents new challenges for health policy with potential new threats to the quality and safety of care provided to patients travelling overseas for treatment.