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Title: The internationalisation of health care and the medical profession : evidence from Greece
Author: Skountridaki, Kalliopi
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis brings together two distinct bodies of knowledge, the Sociology of the Professions and literature on International Patient Movement, in order to examine the dynamics of contemporary trends in global health care provision. The thesis suggests that the international movement of patients coincides with symbolic changes in the penetration of commercial practices in health care. The role of states and transnational regulatory bodies in promoting trade in health services directly and indirectly accounts for it to a significant extent. Against the backdrop of accentuated commercialisation and marketisation key actors are reconceptualised as market agents who consequently reinforce marketisation and contribute to the creation of a vicious cycle of commercialisation within health care. Within this framework the study seeks to shed light on the role of medical professionals in the emergence of the internationalisation health care, through the case of physicians practicing on a so lo basis in Greece. It is informed about the perspectives and initiatives of medical professionals on the internationalised market through a qualitative research design based on 32 semi-structured interviews with health professionals. The research findings provide evidence that medical professionals play a prominent role in the emergence of transnational health care provision. The results extend the literature on commercialised professionalism (Hanlon, 1998) by showcasing professionals who adopt an entrepreneurial self and explore the business opportunities arising from the international patient movement. Displaying an entrepreneurial spirit they employ marketing techniques to attract foreign patients to their practices; exemplifying a case of contemporary professionalism which may be characterised as enterprising. The omnipresent enterprise culture and the competitive forces forge the emergence of professionalism characterised by lack of disinterestedness (Brint, 1994), individualism , and a strong career focus, as a strategy for adaptation to the changing environment. The effort to perpetuate professional dominance (Freidson, 2006; Larson, 1977) in the emerging internationalised landscape with the subjugation of the new actor, the medical tourism agents, however, gives evidence that elements of continuity and change co-exist and co-shape professionalism (Evetts, 2011).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available