Affective journeys: the emotional structuring of medical tourism in India.
This paper examines the grid of sentiment that structures medical travel to India. In contrast to studies that render emotion as ancillary, the paper argues that affect is fundamental to medical travel's ability to ease the linked somatic, emotional, financial, and political injuries of being ill 'back home'. The ethnographic approach follows the scenes of medical travel within the Indian corporate hospital room, based on observations and interviews among foreign patients, caregivers, and hospital staff in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore. Foreign patients conveyed diverse sentiments about their journey to India ranging from betrayal to gratitude, and their expressions of risk, healthcare costs, and cultural difference help sustain India's popularity as a medical travel destination. However, although the affective dimensions of medical travel promise a remedy for foreign patients, they also reveal the fault lines of market medicine in India.
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