Australian News Media Framing Of Medical Tourism In Low- And Middle-income Countries: A Content Review

Biomed Central Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Public Health, 2013, 13 (1), pp. 1 - 12
Issue Date:
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Background Medical tourism - travel across international borders for health care appears to be growing globally, with patients from high-income nations increasingly visiting low- and middle-income countries to access such services. This paper analyses Australian television and newspaper news and current affairs coverage to examine how medical tourism and these destinations for the practice are represented to media audiences. Methods Electronic copies of Australian television (n?=?66) and newspaper (n?=?65) items from 20052011 about medical care overseas were coded for patterns of reporting (year, format and type) and story characteristics (geographic and medical foci in the coverage, news actors featured and appeals, credibility and risks of the practice mentioned). Results Australian media coverage of medical tourism was largely focused on Asia, featuring cosmetic surgery procedures and therapies unavailable domestically. Experts were the most frequently-appearing news actors, followed by patients. Common among the types of appeals mentioned were access to services and low cost. Factors lending credibility included personal testimony, while uncertainty and ethical dilemmas featured strongly among potential risks mentioned from medical tourism.
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