Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 August 2019
Consumer law and policy generally envisages that consumer interests are best advanced by prohibiting abusive marketplace practices and promoting competition. This chapter proposes the framework be sophisticated for the provision of professional health services. Arguably, universal access to health services is a basic human right. Thus, the consumer interest is best understood within a human rights and a marketplace framework. These two frameworks do not always sit comfortably together, as illustrated in this chapter. The chapter explores the impacts of ASEAN’s market liberalisation strategies upon the delivery of professional health services. One strategy involves regional mutual recognition of health qualifications. This could enhance consumer interests by increased movement of medical practitioners to areas of regional need. Conversely, it could lead them to shift from low-income countries where universal access needs are acute to countries where practitioners receive higher incomes. The chapter concludes with an examination of how ‘health tourism’ is being promoted by some ASEAN members for economic benefit. However, these apparent benefits maybe somewhat illusory.