The discourse of medical tourism in the media
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Tourism review. - St. Gallen
, p. 31-44
University of Antwerp
: Purpose Non-discursive practices such as the economy and political constellations have always caused shifts in history. However, in the network society of today, these shifts have become omnipresent. Globalization of health and medical tourism have created a shift or rupture in the history of healthcare provision and into the lives of different stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to detect and assess the rupture caused by global health care or medical tourism within the field of the written media, in order to define the reality of medical tourism as a trans-historical field. Design/methodology/approach The methodology of this study comprised an extensive discourse analysis of written and new media performed over a time frame of more than a decade. Market, medical, ethical and patient discourses were detected along scientific sources, international and local newspapers. Findings Results indicate that a change in the market discourse has caused a shift in the attitude towards medical tourism, where ethical voices are seen as submissive to the market logic. In the current time perspective, medical tourism has become more mature with the development of non-ethical counterparts such as organ tourism and reproductive tourism as a consequence. Originality/value The research framework shows that the general public receives a normative message from the medical tourism sector.