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Health-care Providers Perspective On Value In Medical Travel To India

Anita Medhekar, Ho Yin Wong, John Edward Hall

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the supply-side factors that determines the quality of global healthcare services from medical tourism healthcare providers’ (MTHP) perspective, which provide value-in-medical-travel to foreign patients/medical tourists, who travel to India for medical treatment/surgery. Design/methodology/approach The thematic content analysis of in-depth interviews with 15 senior MTHP, from 15 private hospitals in India was undertaken, to generate the themes, and identify the supply-side factors necessary for sustainable medical tourism management. Findings The findings conclude that MTHP ranked in ascending order, less waiting-time for surgery, healthcare quality and accreditation, staff/surgeon’s expertise, healthcare information, hospital facilities and services, patient-safety, travel-risk, surgical costs and holiday opportunity as essential factors for providing sustainable quality and value-in-medical-travel to patients. Research limitations/implications Many private hospital spokespersons declined to be interviewed due to confidentiality and privacy policy Practical implications The findings are generalised in case of global private hospitals treating foreign patients. Policy implications suggest that private hospitals in developing countries need to focus on providing value-in-medical-travel, such as accreditation quality of healthcare, no waiting-time, patient-safety, qualified and experienced medical and non-medical staff, hospital facilities and post-surgery care with positive healthcare outcomes. Social implications Medical-tour facilitators, hotels and tourism sites need to collaborate with agencies to provide inclusive built environment, first-aid and wheelchair access, to medical tourists, having financial and legal implications for business. Originality/value There is little qualitative empirical research on the views of MTHP, regarding management of essential supply-side factors that provide value-in-medical-travel to attract medical tourists to India.