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Social Policy Review 29Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2017$
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John Hudson, Catherine Needham, and Elke Heins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447336211

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447336211.001.0001

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Jumping the queue? How a focus on health tourism as benefit fraud misses much of the medical tourism story

Jumping the queue? How a focus on health tourism as benefit fraud misses much of the medical tourism story

Chapter:
(p.219) Eleven Jumping the queue? How a focus on health tourism as benefit fraud misses much of the medical tourism story
Source:
Social Policy Review 29
Author(s):

Daniel Horsfall

Ricardo Pagan

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447336211.003.0011

This chapter analyses ‘health tourism’ as a specific form of alleged benefit fraud. Medical tourism takes place when individuals opt to travel overseas with the primary intention of receiving medical treatment. As such, it can be thought of as a type of patient or ‘consumer’ mobility in which individuals travel outside their country of residence for the consumption of health care services. More recently, media coverage of medical tourism has adopted the narrative of benefit fraud or exploitation, with tourists either purposely or unwittingly accessing care they are not entitled to or not paying for that which they are required to pay. This issue has proven particularly incendiary, prompting formal responses from the government. In the lead up to and aftermath of the UK's EU referendum, the issue played a central role in wider discussions around migration and the free movement of individuals across Europe.

Keywords:   health tourism, benefit fraud, medical tourism, consumer mobility, health care services, migration

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