A Survey of Consumers’ Perceptions Toward Medical Tourism (2011 Study)
19 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2013
Date Written: March 6, 2012
This paper identified demographic groups who are likely to participate in medical tourism and further identified three components (risk-related, social-related, vacation-related) that explain their motivation to travel abroad for treatment. Street-intercept sampling was conducted in six locations in southeastern North Carolina between June to December of 2010. Respondents provided 522 samples, which included socio-economic data and data about their perceptions toward medical tourism. The paper tested several hypotheses about Americans' motivation to use medical tourism by regressing the three components to various demographic variables. Among the paper's major findings are: The uninsured, low-income, and Black consumers are more sensitive to risk-related factors than the well-insured, middle- to high-income groups, and white consumers; The older and the married consumers are more motivated by social-related factors than the young adults aged 18-21 and single (never married); Surprisingly, the more proficient one is in a foreign language, the less one is motivated by social-related factors. This study can help medical tourism agents to refine their marketing strategies and the employers and insurance companies to better partner with foreign healthcare providers to encourage participation in medical tourism. Medical tourism has the potential to ease the strain the healthcare systems of developed countries and to restrain healthcare inflation. How well it does this will depend on how policy makers address these various factors.
Keywords: medical tourism, health tourism, motivations, demographics, uninsured
JEL Classification: I11, D12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation