Social and Institutional Networks in Cross-border Medical Services on the Thai-Lao Border

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Keeratiporn Jutaviriya
Rukchanok Chumnanmak
Panarai Ostapirat
Watunyu Jaiborisudhi

Abstract

Changes in society and health service structures, which are relevant to socio-economic development in the Thai-Lao border area, have contributed to intensive formation of transnational social and institutional networks in recent years. This study examined networks of cross-border healthcare services in the border area between Vientiane, Lao PDR and Nong Khai, Thailand, using the actor-network theory and the qualitative approach. The informants consisted of 30 persons, including medical officials and Lao service users currently living in Laos who received cross-border medical services in Thailand. The research found four kinds of network transfers: 1) those transferring medical knowledge across borders; 2) business networks, including health insurance systems, hotel businesses and accommodations; 3) civil society networks in Lao PDR and Thailand; and 4) social networks, such as families and friends. These networks reflect the importance of both human and non-human actors that contribute to a variety of relationships through adaptation, negotiation, cooperation, and coordination in the Thai-Lao border area.

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How to Cite
Jutaviriya, K. ., Chumnanmak, R. ., Ostapirat, P. ., & Jaiborisudhi, W. . (2022). Social and Institutional Networks in Cross-border Medical Services on the Thai-Lao Border. Journal of Mekong Societies, 18(3), 89–109. Retrieved from https://so03.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/mekongjournal/article/view/261033
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