Sociality and transnational social space in the making of medical tourism: local actors and Indonesian patients in Malaysia

Heng Leng Chee, Andrea Whittaker, Heong Hong Por

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate international medical travel between Indonesia and Malaysia through the conceptual lens of sociality, transnational social space and therapeutic mobilities. Drawing upon narratives of local persons, medical traveller-patients, accompanying family members, hospital staff and medical travel facilitators, we illustrate how multifaceted linkages and processes generate and sustain the flow of patients across the border. In these narratives, we see multiple mobilities articulate and cross-cut in the building of transnational connections. This paper stretches the concept of transnational social space to apply to medical travel and contributes to the literature framing of international medical travel as a complex and multifaceted arena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • cross-border migration
  • Indonesian healthcare
  • International medical travel
  • Malaysian private hospitals
  • transnational healthcare
  • transnational social space
  • transnationalism

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