Placing private health care: reading Ascot hospital in the landscape of contemporary Auckland
The closing years of the 20th century were a time in New Zealand dominated by health care reforms inspired by neo-liberal ideology. The result has been changing geographies of public and private health care providers and the evolution of a new discourse of health care. Ascot Integrated Hospital, situated in the affluent Auckland suburb of Remuera, opened in 1999, reflecting and projecting this new discourse. It is a pioneer, competing for patient patronage in a contracting market for surgical and medical providers. In this paper we survey the recent history of private hospital developments in New Zealand, then more closely consider the Ascot, a hospital that has deployed language to construct itself and its achievements in the public imagination. Given the context of an extremely competitive environment for private patients, this construction glamorises medicine and links healing with a contrived place. We conclude that texts associated with the Ascot provide a useful vehicle for advancing cultural geographies of health care and ideas of the place of hospitals in western capitalist countries.
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Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 11 (June)
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