Deakin University

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Factors influencing inbound medical travel to India

journal contribution
posted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by Anita Medhekar, Ho Yin WongHo Yin Wong, J Hall
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the demand-side factors that influence the inbound medical tourists’ (MTs) decision to travel abroad for medical treatment/surgery. Design/methodology/approach: The researchers conducted thematic analysis of in-depth interviews in India with 24 foreign MTs’ to generate the themes, identify factors and propose a model with hypothesis for future quantitative survey. Findings: The findings conclude that patients ranked in ascending order less waiting time for surgery, healthcare quality and accreditation, staff/surgeons expertise, healthcare information, hospital facilities and services, patient safety, travel risk, surgical costs and holiday opportunity as important factors that influence the decision to travel abroad for medical treatment/surgery. Research limitations/implications: Foreign patients from six private hospitals were willing to be interviewed with the permission of the hospital. Due to confidentiality and privacy policy, many hospitals declined interviews with foreign patients. Practical implications: The findings are generalised in case of foreign patients as MTs and all private hospitals treating foreign patients in India and other global healthcare destinations. Policy implications suggest that private hospitals in developing countries need to provide first-class quality of healthcare as foreign patients look for internationally accredited quality, no waiting time, patient safety, qualified and experienced surgeons, healthcare workers education and experience hospital facilities and post-surgery care with positive healthcare outcomes. Originality/value: There is little empirical research on the views of inbound MTs, about factors influencing their decision to travel abroad for surgery to India.



Journal of health organization and management






155 - 172


Emerald Publishing Limited


Bingley, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, Emerald Publishing Limited