The Medical Tourist and a Political Economy of Care



Bolton SC & Skountridaki K (2017) The Medical Tourist and a Political Economy of Care. Antipode, 49 (2), pp. 499-516.

Medical tourism has gained prominence in academic, policy and business arenas in describing the growth in the number of people travelling outside of their home country to receive planned medical treatment, with the emphasis on the combination of addressing pressing health concerns with a leisure trip. This conceptual essay offers insights into how patients are being reconceptualised in a neo- liberal setting as medical tourists. In so doing it offers two key contributions. First it offers a deeper theorisation of trends in international healthcare through a political economy of care framework. This framework is not only focused on human interaction and experience but also on the political, economic and social space in which human life is played out. Second, it offers new insights into the exploration of human relationships within a market economy so that the medical tourist is seen with new eyes as a relational being.

Medical travel; medical tourism; political economy of care; market dynamics; relationality; embeddedness

Antipode: Volume 49, Issue 2

Publication date31/03/2017
Publication date online23/07/2016
Date accepted by journal04/05/2016
PublisherWiley-Blackwell for Antipode Foundation Ltd

People (1)


Professor Sharon Bolton

Professor Sharon Bolton

Emeritus Professor, Management, Work and Organisation