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Hartmann, Sarah: The Work of Medical Travel Facilitators: Caring For and Caring About International Patients in Delhi, Heidelberg ; Berlin: CrossAsia-eBooks, 2017 (Geographien Südasiens, Vol. 6). DOI: 10.11588/xabooks.251.334

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978-3-946742-25-8 (PDF)

Published 03/31/2017.

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Sarah Hartmann

The Work of Medical Travel Facilitators

Caring For and Caring About International Patients in Delhi

Geographien Südasiens

Medical travel facilitators play an important role in bringing transnational healthcare markets into being as they help patients seeking medical treatment abroad. However, little is known about the work of medical travel facilitators located at medical travel destinations, such as Delhi in India.

Ethnographic fieldwork shows that the facilitation model practiced in Delhi excels in comprehensive and individualised support of international patients, in which facilitators engage in a broad range of tasks that I suggest conceptualising as ‘care work’. These facilitators not only care for the overall well-being of patients but express their care in a particularly concerned, devoted, even affectionate manner. The way care logics and market logics are intertwined in the facilitators’ practices arguably challenges the dichotomy between cold economy and benevolent lifeworld.

Sarah Hartmann has a Master’s Degree in Human and Economic Geography from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and is currently working on her PhD at The Open University, England, on medical travel facilitation in the context of south-south mobilities.