A Survey of Consumers’ Perceptions Toward Medical Tourism (2011 Study)

19 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2013

See all articles by Lydia L. Gan

Lydia L. Gan

University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Medical Tourism Research Center

James R. Frederick

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Pembroke - Medical Tourism Research Center

Date Written: March 6, 2012

Abstract

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

Gan, Lydia L. and Frederick, James R., A Survey of Consumers’ Perceptions Toward Medical Tourism (2011 Study) (March 6, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2194850 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2194850

Lydia L. Gan (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina at Pembroke ( email )

P.O. Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372-1510
United States
9107754265 (Phone)
9105216750 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uncp.edu/business/

Medical Tourism Research Center ( email )

P O Box 1510
One University Drive
Pembroke, NC 28372
United States
910-521-6592 (Phone)
910-521-6750 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uncp.edu/mtrc/

James R. Frederick

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Pembroke - Medical Tourism Research Center ( email )

P O Box 1510
One University Drive
Pembroke, NC 28372
United States

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