A typology of cross-border patient mobility

Irene A. Glinos*, Rita Baeten, Matthias Helble, Hans Maarse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1145-1155
JournalHealth & Place
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • Patient mobility
  • Cross-border health care
  • Access
  • Travel
  • Health funding

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