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Healthcare Service Marketing in Medical Tourism: An Emerging Market Study
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration. Södertörns högskola, Företagsekonomi.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2016-4841
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Medical tourism (MT) enables patients to satisfy their healthcare needs by traveling outside their country of residence to obtain medical treatment. The increasing number of scientific publications, different countries’ engagement in providing care for foreigners, and patients heading abroad to receive healthcare indicate the growth and popularity of MT. This industry’s development exposes the healthcare sector to a competitive environment. As a result, marketing has become a significant part of healthcare providers’ operations and survival. Research into how these providers promote their services is limited. This limitation is further apparent for healthcare providers located in less popular destinations, such as emerging market (EM) countries. This dissertation therefore focuses on MT service providers in an EM, the Philippines.

This study aims to examine how service providers in an EM country market healthcare services internationally. This thesis consists of four articles. Through qualitative case-based research, this study concentrates on hospitals, clinics, and medical tourism facilitators that play a central role in service delivery within the MT industry. The results from this thesis show that to efficiently market healthcare, service providers have to build trust, establish reliable networks, and offer customized and supplementary services.

This dissertation is positioned to contribute to relevance and diversity in service marketing research and the budding healthcare service marketing while sustaining MT literature through studying service providers in an EM context. Although this study was based on one EM, it offers an in-depth understanding of how the marketing of healthcare services is being implemented. This knowledge is not only important for the practicing medical tourism destination countries, but also for patients, managers, policymakers, and researchers in the patients’ home country. Future studies could focus on the perspective of consumers. Accordingly, this study is an initial step toward a deeper understanding of the marketing of commercialized healthcare.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola , 2021. , p. 230
Keywords [en]
healthcare service marketing, medical tourism, emerging market, service marketing, trust, network, customization, word of mouth, supplementary services, Philippines
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-35433ISBN: 978-91-89109-52-0 (print)ISBN: 978-91-89109-53-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-35433DiVA, id: diva2:1537370
Public defence
2021-04-08, MA648/via link, Alfred Nobels Allé 7, Huddinge, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-03-15 Created: 2021-03-15 Last updated: 2021-03-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Medical tourism in emerging markets: the role of trust, networks and word of mouth
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Medical tourism in emerging markets: the role of trust, networks and word of mouth
2019 (English)In: Health Marketing Quarterly, ISSN 0735-9683, E-ISSN 1545-0864, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 203-219Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the growing popularity of medical tourism (MT) in emerging markets (EMs), little is known about how healthcare providers operationalize. This paper analyzes how healthcare providers meet different challenges to market MT in an EM setting. A qualitative method was used for data collection and conducting case studies on healthcare services in the Philippines. The results show that trust and network building are necessary for mitigating the unfavorable characteristics, instability and lack of legitimacy caused by institutional constraints in EM. Word of mouth is found to be important to attract new customers and disseminate information about MT services

Keywords
Medical tourism, emerging market, Philippines, trusr, network, word-of-mouth
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-28560 (URN)10.1080/07359683.2019.1618008 (DOI)31210584 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85067617363 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-11-20 Created: 2018-11-20 Last updated: 2023-03-08Bibliographically approved
2. Customization in medical tourism in the Philippines
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Customization in medical tourism in the Philippines
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, ISSN 1750-6123, E-ISSN 1750-6131, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 486-500Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Focusing on customization, this paper aims to examine how service providers market health care in emerging markets through medical tourism. Using a qualitative method, researchers conducted 18 semi structured interviews with managers from five health-care providers and supporting organizations in the Philippines. For analysis, data from the service providers are compared. Customization is found to play crucial role in offering health-care services. The customization takes place by adapting to emotional, social and cultural needs; alleviating knowledge asymmetry; and moderating the negative impact of the unfamiliar context experienced by international patients.

Keywords
Emerging market, Health care, Medical tourism, International patients, Knowledge asymmetry, Service marketing
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-28394 (URN)10.1108/IJPHM-07-2017-0035 (DOI)000450076900007 ()2-s2.0-85056134689 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-11-02 Created: 2018-11-02 Last updated: 2023-03-08Bibliographically approved
3. Role of facilitators in the medical tourism industry: A study of medical tourism facilitators in an emerging market
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Role of facilitators in the medical tourism industry: A study of medical tourism facilitators in an emerging market
2022 (English)In: Services Marketing Quarterly, ISSN 1533-2969, E-ISSN 1533-2977, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 129-145Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Established scholars encourage academics from different fields to make a contribution to the service research to advance, maintain relevance, and promote diversity in the service discipline. This study focuses on a novel type of intermediaries called medical tourism facilitators that assume a vital function in the medical tourism industry. Applying the case study method, the researchers collected qualitative data from three medical tourism facilitators in the Philippines. The study presents a model that includes six supplementary services, namely: information dissemination, consultation, booking, providing hospitality, network development, and support industry development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2022
Keywords
flower of services, service, Philippines, services marketing, healthcare, case study, facilitators
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
no Strategic Research Area (SFO)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-35434 (URN)10.1080/15332969.2022.2056288 (DOI)2-s2.0-85127971589 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-02-17 Created: 2021-03-15 Last updated: 2022-04-25Bibliographically approved
4. Medical Tourism Networks in an Emerging Market
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Medical Tourism Networks in an Emerging Market
2021 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-35435 (URN)
Note

As manuscript in dissertation

Available from: 2021-02-17 Created: 2021-03-15 Last updated: 2024-02-14Bibliographically approved

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