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Volume 20, Issue 2 (March - April 2021)                   Payesh 2021, 20(2): 145-166 | Back to browse issues page

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Mosadeghrad A M, Sadeghi M. Medical tourism: Reasons for choosing Iran. Payesh. 2021; 20 (2) :145-166
URL: http://payeshjournal.ir/article-1-1537-en.html
1- Health Information Management Research Center, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2- School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (560 Views)
Objective(s): Medical tourism is the process of traveling to another country for the purpose of promoting, restoring, and maintaining health along with recreation and pleasure. Iran has a high potential to attract medical tourists due to its special geographical location, abundant natural resources and quality and cheap medical services. The aim of this study was to identify reasons for choosing Iran by medical tourists to receive medical services.
Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in 2020 using semi-structured interviews with 18 medical tourists and 23 physicians, nurses and medical tourism experts (Pluralistic evaluations) in Tehran city, Iran. Thematic analysis method was used to analyse data.
Results: In this study, overall 22 reasons for choosing Iran to receive medical services were identified, which were divided into seven groups: type of service (type and severity of illness and availability and comprehensiveness of service), quality of service (specialized and committed physicians and staff, advanced equipment, amenities, fast and easy service delivery process and effective result), service cost (medical service tariff and health insurance coverage), patient previous experience, advertising (hospital and tourism company advertising, word of mouth, and the internet), contextual factors (cultural affinity, tourist attractions, and political climate) and patient socio-economic factors. Finally, a conceptual model of medical tourists’ reasons for choosing Iran to receive medical services was designed. Health tourists who evaluate the value of a country's medical services well, choose that country, and if they are satisfied with the services, they come again or recommend it to others.
Conclusion: Advanced, high quality and cheap medical services are the three main reasons for choosing Iran by medical tourists. However, Iran faces some challenges in utilizing its health tourism capacities. Politicians and health system policymakers should strengthen the country's health tourism industry by analysing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and formulating and implementing a strategic plan.
Full-Text [PDF 1280 kb]   (258 Downloads)    
type of study: Research | Subject: Helath Service Manager
Received: 2020/12/1 | Accepted: 2021/04/11 | ePublished ahead of print: 2021/04/14 | Published: 2021/04/27

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