IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v124y2015icp290-297.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Perceptions of an ‘international hospital’ in Thailand by medical travel patients: Cross-cultural tensions in a transnational space

Author

Listed:
  • Whittaker, Andrea
  • Chee, Heng Leng

Abstract

The growing trade in patients seeking health care in other countries, or medical travel, is changing the forms and experiences of health care seeking and producing changes to hospitals in terms of their design, organization and spaces. What is termed in marketing parlance in Thailand as an ‘international hospital’ oriented to attracting foreign patients, is a hotel-hospital hybrid that is locally produced through the inflexion of local practices to make a therapeutic space for international patients. The paper reports on work undertaken within a Thai hospital in 2012 which included observations and interviews with thirty foreign in-patients and nine informal interviews with hospital staff. Although theorized as a culturally neutral transnational ‘space of connectivity’, we show how cross-cultural tensions affect the experience of the hospital with implications for the organization of the hospital and notions of ‘cultural competence’ in care. There is no single universal experience of this space, instead, there are multiple experiences of the ‘international hospital’, depending on who patients are, where they are from, their expectations and relationships. Such hospitals straddle the expectations of both local patients and international clientele and present highly complex cross-cultural interactions between staff and patients but also between patients and other patients. Spatial organisation within such settings may either highlight cultural difference or help create culturally safe spaces.

Suggested Citation

  • Whittaker, Andrea & Chee, Heng Leng, 2015. "Perceptions of an ‘international hospital’ in Thailand by medical travel patients: Cross-cultural tensions in a transnational space," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 290-297.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:124:y:2015:i:c:p:290-297
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.10.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953614006480
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Smith, Richard & Martínez Álvarez, Melisa & Chanda, Rupa, 2011. "Medical tourism: A review of the literature and analysis of a role for bi-lateral trade," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 276-282.
    2. Anonymous, 2002. "Contents of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 27," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 27(3), November.
    3. Gesler, Wilbert M., 1992. "Therapeutic landscapes: Medical issues in light of the new cultural geography," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 735-746, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:ura:ecregj:v:1:y:2018:i:2:p:575-588 is not listed on IDEAS

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:124:y:2015:i:c:p:290-297. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.