Table 2

Characteristics of Australian television coverage of medical tourism, May 2005 – June 2011 (n = 66)*
National focus ( n ) Medical focus ( n ) News actors ( n ) Appeals (%)** Credibility (%) Risks (%)
India – 26 Cosmetic surgery – 20 Patient – 69 (F: 58; Au: 63) Access to services (except for reasons of cost) – 62.1 Use of personal testimonials – 50.0 Ethical dilemmas – 53.0
Malaysia – 12 Stem-cell therapy – 15 Low cost – 36.4 Reference to number of international patients – 42.4 Uncertainty as to what is on offer – 50.0
Thailand – 10 Reproductive therapies – 13 Expert – 68 (Au: 36) Ability to ‘feel good’ – 21.2 Logo/branding symbol −19.7 Complications – 34.8
The Philippines – 6 Transplant surgery – 9 Medical tourism facilitator/representative of overseas hospital – 26 (Au: 2) Access to ‘medical breakthrough’ – 21.2 Mention of international accreditation – 12.1 Procedural risk – 22.7
China – 5 Reconstructive surgery – 4 Family member/carer – 22 (F: 6) Travel opportunity −16.7 Surgeon/practitioner biography or education – 10.6 Post-operative care – 12.1
Pakistan and Russia – 2 each Orthopaedic surgery – 3 Kidney donor – 13 (F: 3) High-quality services – 13.6 Ease of contacting practitioner post-procedure – 6.0 Lack of legal recourse – 10.6
‘Asia’ in general – 2 Novel, drug-resistant infection – 2 Surrogacy client – 10 (F: 5; Au: 8) No waiting time – 13.6 Exposure to novel risks – 9.1
No country named – 3 Other – 3 Other – 7 (Au: 5) State-of-the-art facilities – 12.1 Difficulty in contacting practitioner post-procedure – 4.5
‘Vox pop’/audience member – 6 (Au: 6) Surgeon/practitioner expertise – 10.6
Government spokesperson or official – 4 (Au: 0) Personalised service – 10.6
Politician – 4 (Au: 2) Access to latest technology – 4.5
Surrogate mother – 3 (Au: 1) Greater convenience – 1.5

* Counts sum to more than 66, as some items cover more than one medical focus, or include more than one news actor.

* * This refers to the percentage of stories to feature mention of the particular appeal, credibility or risk in question.

Imison and Schweinsberg

Imison and Schweinsberg BMC Public Health 2013 13:109   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-109

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