Medical tourism is also known as medical travel, health tourism or more recently, global healthcare; which in a broad sense, means seeking for medical wellbeing by travelling to a foreign region. However, this is not new; for thousands of years, people have traveled to foreign lands for healing purposes. This form of health travel has grown tremendously in the past decades and has been labeled “medical tourism” by the media and tourism industry actors although this term has been criticized for its suggestion of leisure and frivolity and viewed as disrespect for unavailable services for patients in their home country (Kangas, 2010). However, despite its huge impact parallel to a blooming tourism sector, this qualitative study will show that medical tourism has not changed the life of Mauritian to the better except for the creation of a few jobs. Moreover, the majority of Mauritian is not even aware of the existence of such market in Mauritius. This study, qualitative in nature, is original as it is the first qualitative one being made in the field of medical tourism in Mauritius. The experience of people living at grass root has been sought and analysed in order to show disparity that exist between these community and the big organisations that really benefits from the impact of the phenomenon. A series of 200 interviews was carried out across the island in order to induce and support the study. This paper will help policy making through the recommendations made.
Asrani Gopaul, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
Stream: Social Work
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