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Health Place. 2010 Nov;16(6):1145-55. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.08.001. Epub 2010 Aug 5.

A typology of cross-border patient mobility.

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  • 1Department of Health Organisation, Policy and Economics, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Based on systematic observation and analysis of available evidence, we propose a typology of cross-border patient mobility (rather than the so-called 'medical tourism') defined as the movement of a patient travelling to another country to seek planned health care. The typology is constructed around two dimensions based on the questions 'why do patients go abroad for planned health care?' and 'how is care abroad paid for?' Four types of patient motivations and two funding types have been identified. Combined in a matrix, they make eight possible scenarios of patient mobility each illustrated with international examples.

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