A Challenging Entanglement: Health Care Providers’ Perspectives on Caring for Ill and Injured Tourists on Cozumel Island, Mexico

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (PhD)
Final version published as: 

Hoffman, Leon & Crooks, Valorie & Snyder, Jeremy. (2018). A challenging entanglement: health care providers’ perspectives on caring for ill and injured tourists on Cozumel Island, Mexico. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2018.1479583.

Date created: 
Cozumel Island
Care provision

Purpose: Despite established knowledge that tourists often fall ill or are injured abroad, little is known about their treatment. The intent of this study was to explore health care professionals’ treatment provision experiences on Cozumel Island, Mexico. Methods: 13 semi-structured interviews were undertaken with professionals across a number of health care vocations on Cozumel Island. Interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed to determine common challenges faced in the provision of treatment for transnational tourists. Results: Three thematic challenges emerged from the data: human and physical resource deficiencies, medical (mis)perceptions held by patients and complexities surrounding remuneration of care. Health care providers employ unique strategies to mitigate these challenges. Conclusion: Although many of these challenges exist within other touristic and peripheral spaces, we suggest that the challenges experienced by Cozumel Island’s health care professionals, and their mitigation strategies, exist as part of a complex entanglement between the island’s health care sector and its dominant tourism landscape. We call on tangential tourism services to take a larger role in ensuring the ease of access to, and provision of quality health care services for tourists on Cozumel Island.

Document type: 
Rights remain with the authors.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)