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Medical tourism: miracle or mirage?

Abd Manaf, Noor Hazilah and Abdullah Yusof, Selamah and Zakaria, Intan Zanariah (2015) Medical tourism: miracle or mirage? In: 18th QMOD-KSQM International Joint Conference on Quality and Service Science, 12 Oct 2015, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea. (Unpublished)

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ntroductionMedical tourism is a new and exciting industry due to its rapid growth and huge economic potential, estimated to be worth USD 8.5billion by 2013 for the Asian chapter (Lee, Han & Lockyer, 2014). Leahy (2008) estimates the industry to be worth USD 60 billion worldwide, with growth estimated by Deloitte (2008) at more than 20 percent annually. Malaysia is joining the bandwagon with Thailand, Singapore and India being the main medical tourist destination countries in Asia. Travel for health is not a new phenomenon. Affluent section of societies has been knownsincehistoryto travel seeking spas, mineral baths and innovative therapies (Gray &Poland, 2008). Hospitals and medical facilities in Europe andUS have always been favoured by the wealthy from less developed countries for better healthcare services (Volz, 2008). But a reversal in the flowwhereby patients from developed countries areseeking medical treatment in developing countries drivemedical tourism to the forefront of research (Eissler & Casken, 2013; Connel, 2006, Turner, 2007; York, 2007, Cuddehe, 2009, Goldbarch & West, 2010). While the flow of patients from developed countries to developingcountriescaught our attention, however,it must also be put into perspective that much of the medical travel flow is also predominantly intra-regional (Ormond, 2013, Crush and Chikanda, 2014).The largest patient base for Singapore for example is Indonesia and Malaysia, while Thailand hosts many from the ASEAN region. Healthcare is the most local of the service industry as the norm is for patients to go to the nearest hospital for their healthcare needs. The paradox in medical tourism is that patients are travelling halfway across the globe for their healthcare needs. A number of motivation has been cited in the 2literature for thisnew development such as excessive medical cost (Tuner, 2007; York, 2007; Cuddehe, Gray & Poland, 2008; Connell, 2006);long waiting list (Conell, 2006);advances in medicine as less invasive procedures were developed (Manaf et al., 2011); treatment that are not available or not well-developed in home country (Crookset al., 2010),impact of marketing (Sarwar et al., 2012),convergence in a global standard of care(Fried & Harris, 2007)and favourable economic exchangerates (Conell, 2006). The Internetrevolution and exponential growth of the air travel industry provides the right environment for the industry to flourish(Manaf et al., 2011).This paper explores the development of medical tourism in Malaysia and the factors that led to the natural fitof the country and the industry. It will also examine the performance of Malaysia against its neighbour-in-industry and region, namely Thailand and Singapore. The impact of the industry on Malaysian healthcare delivery system and the country at large is also examined

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Plenary Papers)
Additional Information: 328/88913
Uncontrolled Keywords: medical tourism, international medical travel, medical outsourcing, healthcare management
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences
Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences > Department of Business Administration
Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences > Department of Economics
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2021 15:35
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 15:35
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/88913

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