ABSTRACT

Medical and health tourism is one of the fastest growing areas of academic research interest this century in both tourism and health and medical studies (De Arellano 2007; Reed 2008; Leahy 2008; Whittaker 2008; Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) 2009; Balaban and Marano 2010; Crooks et al. 2010; Hopkins et al. 2010; Kangas 2010; Karuppan and Karuppan 2010; Morgan 2010; Underwood and Makadon 2010; Reisman 2010; Connell 2011; Hall 2011a). The emergence of the subject is arguably a reflection of its reported economic significance, for example, Evans (2008) reported that the estimated value of the international medical tourism market was about US$ 60 billion in 2006 and projected it to reach US$ 100 billion by 2012; as well as a growing recognition of the consequences of increased human mobility, including the rapid spread of pandemics (Hall 2005; Hall and James 2011). Indeed, a significant dimension of medical tourism is the extent to which it serves as an example of the way in which globalisation is more than an abstract idea but it is something that has real effects on people and places (Woodward et al. 2002).