The Mobility Practice of Healthcare Users from Myanmar and Laos to Access Cross-Border Healthcare in Chiang Rai

  • Korawan Buadoktoom Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University 50200, Thailand
Keywords: Private clinics/hospitals, Health service, Transport infrastructure, The Upper Mekong Borderlands, Cross-border migration


The research has several objectives. 1) To study the development of infrastructure that affects cross-border mobility of healthcare users from Myanmar and Laos to access medical services in the border province of Chiang Rai. 2) To explore the expansion of investment in private health care units (clinics/hospitals) in the border towns of Chiang Rai as a result of cross-border users. 3) To study the international cross-border referral system on emergency healthcare service in Thailand. The data are collected through multi-sited ethnography approach via travel, participatory observation, in-depth interviews with key informants and gathering information in Mea Sai and Chiang Khong border towns in Chiang Rai.   

The results show that the development of transport Infrastructure is an important structure condition resulting in the formation and development of medical space, government policy, regulation and various processes related to the mobility practice ofฺ Burmese and Laos healthcare users. The development of infrastructure has led to the expansion of healthcare service business and cross-border culture to use healthcare service in the Upper Mekong Borderlands (Thailand-Myanmar-Laos).


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How to Cite
Buadoktoom, K. (2020). The Mobility Practice of Healthcare Users from Myanmar and Laos to Access Cross-Border Healthcare in Chiang Rai. Walailak Journal of Social Science, 13(1), 32-66. Retrieved from
Research Article