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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The Patient-Doctor Relationship in the Transnational Healthcare Context
Author(s): Skountridaki, Kalliopi
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Keywords: Patient-doctor Relationship
Transnational Healthcare
Medical Tourism/Travel
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Citation: Skountridaki K (2019) The Patient-Doctor Relationship in the Transnational Healthcare Context. Sociology of Health and Illness, 41 (8), pp. 1685-1705.
Abstract: Moving away from paternalism to more equal forms of interaction in the patient-doctor relationship has been seen in positive light by policy-makers, patients’ rights advocates, and scholars alike. Nonetheless, against the background of commercialisation and consumerism, empirical research showcases how reduced asymmetries bring in tensions and friction between patients and doctors (Greenfield et al. 2012). This paper contributes to the discussion through the examination of the patient-doctor relationship in the niche setting of private transnational healthcare markets which involve patients travelling overseas for care and where commodification, consumerism and care go hand-in-hand. It is geographically focused on two large cities in South-Eastern Europe as settings where healthcare is provided to foreign patients - Athens and Istanbul - and empirically draws on qualitative interviews with doctors who run small/medium practices. The findings highlight that, despite excessive consumerism, power asymmetries are not mitigated but patient vulnerability shapes the patient-doctor relationship. In the transnational context, the patient faces an additional source of vulnerability: a condition of foreignness. As such, the findings stress that one relationship model (the consumerist) does not, per se, replace an older one (e.g., the Parsonian). Instead, the consumer-provider dimension co-exists with the client-expert, patient-doctor and, finally, host-guest relation.
DOI Link: 10.1111/1467-9566.12995
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Skountridaki, L. (2019), The patient–doctor relationship in the transnational healthcare context. Sociology of Health and Illness, 41: 1685-1705, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
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