Title: Understanding medical tourism within the field of neo-institutionalism: an ethical insight

Authors: Rossella Canestrino; Pierpaolo Magliocca; Claudio Nigro

Addresses: Business Management – SECS-P/08, DISAQ – 'Parthenope' University of Naples, Naples, 80132, Italy ' Business Management – SECS-P/08, University of Foggia, Foggia, 71121, Italy ' Business Management – SECS-P/08, University of Foggia, Foggia, 71121, Italy

Abstract: Medical Tourism (MT) has increased in recent years, since a large number of patients from worldwide have travelled to other countries to receive medical cares. This tendency poses deep ethical dilemmas with reference to both the respect of human rights and the unequal distribution of healthcare resources between the rich and the poor. According to the above-mentioned considerations, our paper aims at exploring the ethical concerns of MT and of its social sustainability, as well. In doing this, the neo-institutionalist perspective has been adopted to understand the phenomenon. The proposed paper is theoretical one: it reviews relevant health and medical tourism literature, crossing it with the main contributions belonging to the neo-institutionalism. The adoption of a neo-institutional perspective provides scholars for a new framework that has never been used before, to investigate MT.

Keywords: medical tourism; neo-institutionalism; normative institutional framework; symbolic institutional framework; ethical insights; social sustainability; ethics; human rights; unequal distribution; healthcare resources; health tourism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJENVH.2016.077659

International Journal of Environment and Health, 2016 Vol.8 No.1, pp.76 - 99

Received: 29 Jul 2015
Accepted: 05 Jan 2016

Published online: 12 Jul 2016 *

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