Sunday, 8 June 2014

New article: "Solidarity by demand? Exit and voice in international medical travel – The case of Indonesia"

New article out!

Ormond, M. (2014) "Solidarity by demand? Exit and voice in international medical travel – The case of Indonesia", Social Science and Medicine. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.06.007  -


• Embeds international medical travel in travellers’ home health system struggles.
• Conceptualises international medical travel as a form of political engagement.
• Analyses the impacts of international medical travel on travellers’ home contexts.
• Provides evidence of political and social change at micro and macro levels.
• Offers novel insight into the impacts of Indonesian medical travel on Indonesia.


Globally, more patients are intentionally travelling abroad as consumers for medical care. However, while scholars have begun to examine international medical travel's (IMT) impacts on the people and places that receive medical travellers, study of its impacts on medical travellers' home contexts has been negligible and largely speculative. While proponents praise IMT's potential to make home health systems more responsive to the needs of market-savvy healthcare consumers, critics identify it as a way to further de-politicise the satisfaction of healthcare needs. This article draws from work on political consumerism, health advocacy and social movements to argue for a reframing of IMT not as a 'one-off' statement about or an event external to struggles over access, rights and recognition within medical travellers' home health systems but rather as one of a range of critical forms of on-going engagement embedded within these struggles. To do this, the limited extant empirical work addressing domestic impacts of IMT is reviewed and a case study of Indonesian medical travel to Malaysia is presented. The case study material draws from 85 interviews undertaken in 2007-08 and 2012 with Indonesian and Malaysian respondents involved in IMT as care recipients, formal and informal care-providers, intermediaries, promoters and policy-makers. Evidence from the review and case study suggests that IMT may effect political and social change within medical travellers' home contexts at micro and macro levels by altering the perspectives, habits, expectations and accountability of, and complicity among, medical travellers, their families, communities, formal and informal intermediaries, and medical providers both within and beyond the container of the nation-state. Impacts are conditioned by the ideological foundations underpinning home political and social systems; the status of a medical traveller's ailment or therapy; and the existence of organised support for recognition and management of these in the home context.


Political consumerism; Healthcare advocacy; Health social movements; Medical tourism; Citizenship; Resistance; Indonesia; Malaysia

Media coverage
International Medical Travel Journal. (2014) ‘Malaysia, Indonesia: New study highlights impact of medical travel on domestic healthcare’, IMTJ, 7 August. Available HTTP:

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Session on Migration and Health at the 46th Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health (APACPH) Conference

Dates: 17-19 October 2014
Venue: Hilton Kuala Lumpur, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The theme for this upcoming conference is “Evolution of Public Health in the Asia Pacific Region”. The conference is expected to be one of the largest ever. This conference objectives are to provide updates on public health challenges in the face of demographic and epidemiological transitions in the Asia Pacific region, to disseminate successful efforts by countries in the region to counter these public health challenges, to provide a regional platform for collaborations aimed at improving competencies in public health practices and to reiterate the Asia Pacific public health fraternity’s stand that access to adequate health care for all is an important component of human rights.

For this conference, Prof Chan Chee Khoon (University of Malaya, Malaysia) has organised a session on 'Migration and Health'.  
  • Date: 18 October 2014 
  • Time: 1200-1300
  • Venue: Sentral Ballroom A
  • Chair: Professor Dr. Chan Chee Khoon, University of Malaya (Malaysia)
  • Co-chair: Associate Professor Dr. Saimy Ismail, University of Malaya (Malaysia)
  • Presentations
    • O7-01: Universal Health Coverage and Migrant Populations' Access to Health Care: Case Studies of Thailand and Malaysia
      • Sharuna Elizabeth Verghis, Health Equity Initiatives Malaysia

    • O7-02: Foreign-ness and Health Care in Malaysia
      • Meghann Ormond, Wageningen University
    • O7-03: Health Care Professional vs. Domestic Worker: Recent Policy Debates and Implications for Indonesian Nurses and Care Workers in Japan
      • Deborah J. Milly, Virginia Tech University

Monday, 2 June 2014

CFP: Tourism & Ageing International Conference, Lisbon, 26-29 November 2014

ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute ( and Audax-IUL( are organising an international conference on the theme of Tourism and Ageing( that will take place on 26-29 November 2014 at Cascais.

The Tourism & Ageing conference is the first European initiative in this field, with the aim of discussing the influence of ageing on the tourism industry world-wide, with the most respected national and international academic and professional experts.
The main goals of this conference are:
  • To identify and to discuss the "state of the art" of the key issues of Tourism and Ageing, globally;
  • To place this conference as an enabler for knowledge about key topics in the field, such as Senior Tourism, Medical Tourism, Health and Wellness, and Marketing. For this purpose, will be held workshops for case studies discussion, in close collaboration with companies, professionals and academia;
  • To contribute to schedule a real agenda of the Health Tourism and Medical Tourism to Portugal.
The submission of all manuscripts should be done to site
For more information about submissions, contact Joana Neves (Conference Chair and Researcher at UNIDE, ISCTE-IUL)at