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The north-south policy divide in transnational healthcare: a comparative review of policy research on medical tourism in source and destination countries

The north-south policy divide in transnational healthcare: a comparative review of policy research on medical tourism in source and destination countries

Globalization and Health 16(1): 37

ISSN/ISBN: 1744-8603

PMID: 32321561

DOI: 10.1186/s12992-020-00566-3

Medical tourism occupies different spaces within national policy frameworks depending on which side of the transnational paradigm countries belong to, and how they seek to leverage it towards their developmental goals. This article draws attention to this policy divide in transnational healthcare through a comparative bibliometric review of policy research on medical tourism in select source (Canada, United States and United Kingdom) and destination countries (Mexico, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore), using a systematic search of the Web of Science (WoS) database and review of grey literature. We assess cross-national differences in policy and policy research on medical tourism against contextual policy landscapes and challenges, and examine the convergence between research and policy. Our findings indicate major disparities in development agendas and national policy concerns, both between and among source and destination countries. Further, we find that research on medical tourism does not always address prevailing policy challenges, just as the policy discourse oftentimes neglects relevant policy research on the subject. Based on our review, we highlight the limited application of theoretical policy paradigms in current medical tourism research and make the case for a comparative policy research agenda for the field.

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Accession: 070047301

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