Medical tourist’s perception in selecting destination

If we exclude the obligatory reason of medical tourism (because of regulations, prohibitions and religion barriers – which is named as medical exile in literature), we can talk about cost (first reason but not alone), quality (less expensive but better-or similar quality level), convenience, easy access. Determining the reasons of decision of specific country patient’s specific country is of course more valuable. (editor)

Cost

Cost is one of the most important factors for medical tourism (11). As the cost of healthcare in the US is excessively soaring, many employers together with the insurance companies prefer medical tourism as an option in lowering healthcare costs (16).

Quality

In this rapidly growing consumer-oriented health industry, quality has become the integral part. Without providing quality services, no business can survive. People from rich countries are traveling to less developed countries because of less expensive but high quality medical care (18).

Understanding of the customer’s requirements has become necessity as this helps the practitioners in developing new approaches to provide improved service quality (23). The service quality in healthcare industry is a vital part for attracting customer as in the healthcare industry, patient perceptions are measured through the quality of services provided by a healthcare centre (24, 25). Thus, delivering quality services to the customers is necessary in order to meet customers’ perception (22).

One of the fundamental barriers in medical tourism is the perception of inadequate quality (1). Thus, employing proper marketing strategies and improvements in quality through accreditation from an internationally recognized institution is a key to overcoming this barrier. Accreditation is crucial as it strengthens confidence in the quality of healthcare. This confidence increases if accreditation is accompanied by an affiliation with prestigious hospitals or health care systems in industrial countries (26).

Treatment Types and Availability

Surrogate pregnancy and other assisted reproductive technology treatments including freezing embryos for retro-production”

Lack of Access to Particular Treatment

Lack of access, either because the technology is not available, or is prohibited or illegal in the home country, can lead to medical tourism (34). Study conducted on Asia have found that, Thailand has become increasingly popular destination for a wide range of medical procedures, such as cosmetic surgery, dental work, hip and knee replacements, back surgery and for some unproven medical surgery (e.g. sex change)

Marketing Impact

In addition, internet-based marketing and promotional campaigns by hospitals and travel agencies have boosted the confidence of the foreign patients as they can get their needed information much easily and quickly (13). Thus, Internet has enabled a significant cost savings for both the patients and the hospitals (33).

Medical Tourist’s Perception in Selecting their Destination: A Global Perspective Abdullah AM Sarwar,* Noorhazilah A Manaf, and Azura Omar http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3469025/#b26-ijph-41-1

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