Competitiveness in Medical Tourism: An Evaluation on Kocaeli Medical Tourism Market

Competitiveness in Medical Tourism: An Evaluation on Kocaeli Medical Tourism Market

Mine Halis, Selma Tepret, Zafer Çamlibel, Muhsin Halis
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6825-5.ch017
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For people who want to be healthy, contemporary developments have made it possible to meet this need from other countries. It is the distinctive feature of medical tourism that those who want to be treated outside their own country for various reasons travel for treatment purposes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the medical tourism potential for Kocaeli. For the research, 15 health facilities, including one public university, two public health facilities, and 12 private health facilities which have deserved Health Tourism Certificate, have been determined in Kocaeli. In addition, officials from the accommodation sector and public bureaucracy who are competent, and decision-makers on medical tourism were interviewed. The medical tourism potential of Kocaeli has been determined in terms of competitiveness criteria by analysing the data collected as a result of the interviews. As a result, even if the government puts emphasis on health tourism in Turkey, it has been observed that there isn't enough competitiveness in public hospitals.
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Conceptual Framework, Definitions And Concepts

Medical tourism which consists of combination of medicine and tourism activities is defined as the patient’s inability to meet his/her health need in his/her own country for various reasons and going to another country for treatment as a result. While the ones with good economic conditions were going to developed countries to meet their health needs in the past, health tourism has turned towards to developing countries in recent years with these countries’ improving themselves on a competitive level in terms of medicine and technology (Barca, Akdeve & Balay, 2013, p. 103).

Tourism activities of human beings have gained momentum with the development of communication and technology, and the ease and possibility of transportation to wherever desired. After the II. World War to which a lot of countries were party, the tourism sector were considered as a serious source of income by many countries and a lot of counties turned towards investing in tourism sector (Yıldız and Kalağan, 2008, p. 42). The dominance of mass production and consumption understanding all over the world contributed to the rapid development of this sector by increasing the demand for tourism (Weaver & Lawton, 2010, p. 253).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Tourism: It is all of the events and relationships arising from temporary accommodation of individuals, provided that they do not turn into permanent stay and do not engage in any income-generating occupation.

Tourism Industry: The tourism industry, also known as the travel industry, is linked to the idea of people travelling to other locations, either domestically or internationally, for leisure, social or business purposes. It is closely connected to the hotel industry, the hospitality industry and the transport industry, and much of it is based around keeping tourists happy, occupied and equipped with the things they need during their time away from home.

Competition: Competition is a condition where different economic firms seek to obtain a share of a limited good by varying the elements of the marketing mix: price, product, promotion, and place.

Health Tourism: Health tourism refers to the travels of people to different countries for treatment purposes in order to receive health services.

Medical Tourism: Medical tourism can be defined as people’s traveling to a country other than the one in which they live in order to receive any treatment within the scope of surgery, medical or dentistry. Medical tourism is not only of medical diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation implementations but also a multidisciplinary perspective in terms of promotion, hotel management, agentship, environment, architecture and economy.

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