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Medical Tourism

Anita Medhekar, Ho Yin Wong, John Hall

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The purpose of this chapter is to establish a conceptual model that can potentially fill research gaps in the literature about medical tourism as an innovative concept in global healthcare provision by developing emerging economies as they are providing low cost alternatives in medical treatment at internationally accredited medical facilities to treat patients from developed countries. Major databases such as Ebscohost and Emerald have been used to search relevant literature. The literature on medical tourism is reviewed so as to understand the key drivers of medical tourism as well as research gaps in the existing literature. Three major drivers of medical tourism have been identified, namely cost, waiting time, and perceived quality. Further empirical research is needed to test the conceptual model in order to better understand what drives a decision to engage in medical tourism. This chapter makes three major contributions; firstly, the identification of the medical tourism literature from the service marketing and management perspectives; secondly, to propose a conceptual model representing innovation in medical tourism for global healthcare by developing emerging economies; thirdly, the identification of research gaps in the medical tourism literature through which future research can further the knowledge of why people travel to developing countries for medical treatment.