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Spaces of connectivity: The formation of medical travel destinations in Delhi National Capital Region (India)


Kaspar, Heidi; Reddy, Sunita (2017). Spaces of connectivity: The formation of medical travel destinations in Delhi National Capital Region (India). Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 58(2):228-241.

Abstract

Existing research on the formation of Asian medical travel destinations has highlighted a variety of activities that attract and accommodate patients from abroad. This paper contributes to the literature by drawing insights from an Indian case study, a major transnational health-care hub in Asia that has gained little scholarly attention thus far. Using connectivity as an analytical lens, we understand medical travel destinations as a contingent product of relating, connecting and assembling.We study how connectivity is embodied and how it unfolds in care encounters at corporate hospitals in the capital of New Delhi and surrounding urban areas. The following entities are the most effectual in the networks that constitute medical travel destinations in the National Capital Region: (i) circulating narrations of personal experiences; (ii) language interpreters; and (iii) commission fees. We further elaborate on how these connectors work to link foreign patients with Indian hospitals and how they affect itineraries as well as patients and other involved actors. Finally, we suggest that the approach deployed provides a suitable framework for future research aimed at gaining a better understanding of the wider impacts of medical travel by following these connections and examining their workings at places both close and distant.

Abstract

Existing research on the formation of Asian medical travel destinations has highlighted a variety of activities that attract and accommodate patients from abroad. This paper contributes to the literature by drawing insights from an Indian case study, a major transnational health-care hub in Asia that has gained little scholarly attention thus far. Using connectivity as an analytical lens, we understand medical travel destinations as a contingent product of relating, connecting and assembling.We study how connectivity is embodied and how it unfolds in care encounters at corporate hospitals in the capital of New Delhi and surrounding urban areas. The following entities are the most effectual in the networks that constitute medical travel destinations in the National Capital Region: (i) circulating narrations of personal experiences; (ii) language interpreters; and (iii) commission fees. We further elaborate on how these connectors work to link foreign patients with Indian hospitals and how they affect itineraries as well as patients and other involved actors. Finally, we suggest that the approach deployed provides a suitable framework for future research aimed at gaining a better understanding of the wider impacts of medical travel by following these connections and examining their workings at places both close and distant.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:26 Feb 2018 16:30
Last Modified:30 Apr 2018 06:20
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1360-7456
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/apv.12159

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