Medical Tourism : A study about motivational factors and the prerequisites for creating a competitive offer – with a Swedish perspective

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för ekonomi och företagande


Medical tourism is a global emerging industry and is an important component of tourism., and operates on the basis of both individual and regional level.

Medical tourism refers to a vacation that involves traveling across international borders to obtain a broad range of medical services. It usually includes leisure, fun, and relaxation activities, as well as wellness and health-care service. Patients who seek to reduce their health-care expenditures travel to medical centers in other countries to obtain dental, medical, and surgical services that are less expensive than those at home. Medical tourism can be defined as the provision of cost-effective medical care to patients in collaboration with the tourism industry. This process is usually facilitated by the private medical sector, whereas both the private and public sectors are involved in the tourism industry. By traveling abroad to have surgery or other medical treatment, medical tourists also take advantage of the opportunity to visit a popular travel destination, thus combining health care with a vacation.

The aim of this thesis can be summarized as to provide a deep understanding of what factors are essential and require the phenomenon of Medical Tourism in terms of Swedish travel patterns. The research questions aims also to develop a competitive and sustainable business concept within the frames of the current market. The results of this paper aims to proof in addition to the knowledge gained from literature and precedent research, to use a case study methodology to provide a valuable insight for both academics and practitioners into the process of further research, pursue studies and practicing approaches within the context of Medical Tourism.

Results indicate that , the factors that characterize the Swedish travel patterns within medical tourism is price, availability and service, quality and the ability of combining holidays with treatment. Medical tourism phenomena can be explained using for components of medical tourism system: medical tourists, medical tourist regenerating regions, medical tourist destinations regions and medical tourism industries. Each component is a basic component of the medical tourism system, and each is mutually connected and interdependent in their mechanisms. Medical tourists require the four areas of the services which are needed for successful medical tourism. Even if the components of service influence each other, in general medical tourism agency plays a major role in arranging the schedule of medical tourists for the for service components. Medical service may be the most important factor which the medical tourists consider when they choose a destination for medical tourism. Accommodation, food and beverage, tourism experiences, and government regulations and socio-cultural factors are also crucial factors affecting the choice of a medical tourism destination.

Quality management and Product differentiation is to strategies that both interrelate with each other and benefits both medical tourism efficiencies and medical tourists. They are important strategies from both a sustainable and economic perspectives as Quality management maximizes the internal force of every level in medical tourism clinics in order to satisfy their patients, meanwhile Product differentiation aims to develop sustainable marketing approaches to attract potential medical tourists and create competitive offers.

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