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Key operational drivers in the medical tourism industry
High health and insurance costs, long waiting list in developed countries, absence of medical procedures and technology in developing poor countries, in addition low travel costs, state of the art medical technology, good affordable medical facilities, low surgical cost, no waiting period and joint commission internationally accredited hospitals, well educated and groomed doctors and nurses, and emerging markets in Asia: like Thailand, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines are all responsible for the booming medical tourism industry and increasing number of patients travelling for complex medical surgeries. Medical tourists are making informed decisions to travel for medical treatment or procedures based on comparing the price and qaulity of health care service provision by the hospitals involved in medical tourism in different countries, such as Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, South-Africa, Poland, Dubai, Mexico or Venezuela. Two key hypothesis were tested that drives the medical tourism industry and the results concured with the literature that low surgical cost and internationally accredited qaulity of medical care and service provision will positively influence the decision to travel abroad for medical treatment. This is possible only if information is provided by the healthcare providers and accrediting bodies like Joint Commission International so that comparisons and informed decisions based on cost and quality can be made.