Διερεύνηση των προσδιοριστικών παραγόντων της επιλογής της χώρας προορισμού για ιατρικό τουρισμό
A study of the determinants of medical tourism destination selection process
KeywordsMedical tourism ; Heath tourism ; Medical service ; Destination country ; Determinants ; Ιατρικός τουρισμός ; Τουρισμός υγείας ; Ιατρική υπηρεσία ; Χώρα προορισμός ; Προσδιοριστικοί παράγοντες
The main purpose of the study is to investigate the factors that might affect the selection of medical service provision in a foreign country - outside the person’s residence country - as well as the type of medical services and the destination country of choice. To fulfil this purpose, primary and secondary research was carried out. Τhe first part presents the literature review , in which the data was collected from literature sources as well as from studies and foreign language articles relating to the medical tourism. More specifically, medical tourism and the discrimination between medical and health tourism, its role in Greece and in other countries (before and during Covid-19 period) are described. This part concluded with additional information on determinants, medical services and the most popular destination countries. The second part of the study, presents the empirical research and reports the statistical analysis of 101 responses to a questionnaire constructed by the investigator for the purposes of this study administered to individuals with Greece or other country permanent residency. The collection of questionnaires lasted from 21/03/2022 to 21/07/2022 and contains social, demographic and medical tourism related characteristics. The results show that the determinants, in an increasing order of significance, are procedure-based, cost-based and travel-based. The most popular types of medical services for medical tourism are cardiology, cancer treatment, organ transplantation, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, paediatrics, fertility/reproduction system IVF, dental care, dermatology and gynaecology. Based on the literature the countries selected for medical tourism are as follows: Canada, Singapore, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Costa Rica, Israel, Abu Dhabi, India, Czech Republic, Portugal, Hungary, Greece, Guatemala, USA and the countries of Asia-Pacific, while the respondents of this study questionnaire mainly included residents in the USA, Germany, Greece, Great Britain and France. Although, as based on the literature the developed countries are usually preferred because of the high quality of services while the developing countries because of the low cost of health services, based on the results of this study, the choice of the destination country and the factors influence this choice are independent of the type of medical services.