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Measuring The Efficiency Of Medical Tourism Industry In EU Member States

Lorena Androutsou, Theodore Metaxas

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Purpose Under the Directive 2011/24/EU, medical tourism and cross-border health are interrelated terms regarding the freedom to move to get the most accessible medical treatment into EU Member State within the defined procedures for reimbursement. Little known empirically regarding the efficiency of the cross-border health/medical tourism industry. This study aims to measure its efficiency in Europe for the years 2010-2014, by using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Design/methodology/approach Data obtained from OECD and the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI), which is collecting the data through Eurostat. Eurostat collects data on health-care activities and provides data on hospital discharges, including the hospital discharges of non-residents and these include hospital discharges of in-patients and day care patients. The analysis uses “DEA.P, 2.1 for windows” by Coelli (1996). Findings The results show that the Members States health systems were very efficient in handling non-residents in-patients; however, when managing day cases/outpatients, the efficiency scores dropped. Practical implications The findings would have significant associations affecting intentions to revisit clinics and the destination country. In addition, will be useful to those seeking a better understanding of the cross-border health and medical tourism industry efficiency. Originality/value Extending the findings of the European Commission report (2015c) by examining how well medical tourists are informed about the decision they are making, would be of perceived value. These are important indicators at European level by helping each Member State to measure its medical tourism services.