Medical Tourism Service Quality: An Indian Perspective

Medical Tourism Service Quality: An Indian Perspective

Bikash Ranjan Debata (University of Macau, China), S. S. Mahapatra (National Institute of Technology Rourkela, India) and Bhaswati Patnaik (National Institute of Technology Rourkela, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9466-8.ch063


Medical tourism, a growing phenomenon in the world today, possesses a worthwhile potential for the economic development of any country. Globalization, development of information and communication technology (ICT) and adherence to the international quality standards potentially result in a significant increase in the movement of patients and healthcare professionals across national boundaries. The demand for medical tourism in India is experiencing a tremendous growth. However, the Indian medical tourism sector faces various challenges. Since India attempts to position itself as one of the preferred global medical tourism hub, a thorough understanding of means to attract, satisfy and retain medical tourists is extremely important. Five hundred and thirty four (534) useful responses in two different phases is collected and tested to examine the validity and reliability of the scale to ensure a quantitative and statistically proven identification of the responses. The exploratory factor analysis (EFA) is used to identify the underlying dimensions of medical tourism service quality for medical tourism in India. Next, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to confirm the factor structure of the constructs and validate EFA results.
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Globalization, privatization, technology advancement and development of international standards potentially result in a significant increase in the movement of patients and health professionals across national boundaries. The global nature of the cross-border healthcare industry is a recent phenomenon and has been developing rapidly. According to Hopkins et al. (2010), the emerging manifestation of health care is known as medical tourism or health tourism or medical travel. Medical tourism is a combination of healthcare services and tourism services. This combination seems to be securing relatively a new type of niche in tourism sector, where tourists primarily seek medical treatment abroad and later blend this with recreational activities (Debata et al., 2011). According to Bookman and Bookman (2007), medical tourism is traveling overseas with the objective of improving one’s health. Many patients in developed countries such as USA, Canada and Britain prefer to cross-border healthcare because of lower cost, avoidance of long wait times, healthcare unavailability of certain healthcare provisions at home, success rates of recovery, personal attention, long supervised recovery and an opportunity to combine vacation with treatment while maintaining privacy and confidentiality (Mohamed, 2008; Chakraborty, 2008). The advantage of medical tourism lies in provision of world-class healthcare at substantially less cost. For instance, open heart surgery costs about USD70000 in Britain and up to USD150000 in the United States but it costs between USD3000 and USD10000 depending on complication in a best hospital of India (Neelankantan, 2003). George and Nedelea (2009) described countries such as India, Thailand, Mexico, Singapore, Brazil, Philippines etc. are actively promoting medical tourism. A report (Deloitte, 2008) reveals that 2. 9 million of patients have taken medical tourism facilities in 2007 with a turnover of USD 30-40 billion. The report also describes that the global medical tourism market is growing very fast at yearly rates of 15-20 percent.

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