Empirical Analysis on the Medical Tourism Policy in Taiwan

Empirical Analysis on the Medical Tourism Policy in Taiwan

I-Chun Liu (Yuan Ze University, Taiwan) and Chii-Ching Chen (Kainan University, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3920-9.ch016
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“Medical Tourism” is a growing industry, attracting more and more attention. Taiwan's government, hopeful that this new industry could generate considerable revenue, has declared its ambition to become the premier choice for cross-country medical care for international visitors. The policy network approach emphasizes the interaction between policy actors. This chapter examines Taiwan's medical tourism development from the model of public policy implementation. We present findings from twelve semi-structured interviews with stakeholders across medical service providers, as well as government officers, and civil society sectors. We found that medical tourism in Taiwan is a growing service, with both public and private sector involvement. However, it is still lagging behind regional competitors such as Singapore, Thailand, and India. Thus, active efforts should be made to encourage the coordination between the medical care sector, tourism industry, and relevant authorities.
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Rise in health care costs in developed countries coupled with the availability of high quality medical services at lower prices in developing nations has primarily surged the expansion of the medical tourism industry. Patients are travelling abroad not only for cosmetic surgeries with a quick recovery, but also for sophisticated cardiovascular surgeries. This international trend has captured the attention of policy makers, relevant enterprises, and academics in both destination and sending countries. By encouraging its presence in the medical tourism market, a country can stimulate its economic growth and create employment opportunities. Consequently, the medical tourism market is rapidly expanding and is anticipated to have a significant growth in the near future (Transparency Market Research, 2013).

The practice of enjoying the local scenery or humanistic characteristics of tourism and simultaneously receiving dental, surgical, and other treatments and health care services has already become a global trend. “Medical Tourism” brings considerable business opportunities worth several hundred billion U.S. dollars, and is becoming a mushrooming industry attracting mass media (Turner, 2007). According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research “Medical Tourism Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 - 2019,” the global medical tourism market was valued at 10.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2012 and is estimated to reach a market worth 32.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate), of 17.9% from 2013 to 2019 (Transparency Market Research, 2013).

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