Medical Tourism Report

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Medical Tourism and its Entrepreneurial Opportunities - A conceptual framework for entry into the industry Sara Caballero-Danell and Chipo Mugomba

Graduate Business School

Tourism and Hospitality Management Master Thesis No. 2006:91 Supervisor: Eva Gustavsson

Tourism & Hospitality Management

Medical Tourism January 2007

ABSTRACT

9am: Kneecap replacement, 2pm onwards: Recovery on Phuket Island, Thailand. Surgery and leisure, a dream? Not any more. Medical tourism is where “tourists” primarily seek medical treatment abroad and afterwards the more conventional form or tourism experience related to leisure and relaxation in tourist places. The combination of surgery and tourism seems to be a promising relatively new type of non-exclusive niche tourism. Factors contributing to this phenomenon include long waiting lists for surgery, costly healthcare, a natural progression within health tourism and globalisation. The structure of our thesis is divided in three parts 1) a market description of the medical tourism reality, 2) development of an entrepreneurship-based conceptual framework related to market entry into a medical tourism as a niche market and, 3) superimposition of the latter on the former to serve as a guide for entrepreneurs entering medical tourism. Salient features of our analysis indicate that while there is an absence of a global governing institution neither regulating nor endorsing medical tourism the niche market provides lots of investment opportunities, moreover there is room for more specific academic research within medical tourism.

Mugomba & Caballero Danell

i

Tourism & Hospitality Management

Medical Tourism January 2007

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to thank all those who directly or indirectly contributed to this thesis, namely the following. Many thanks to Eva Gustavsson, our tutor, for making us the dynamic duo that we are and giving us feedback every time we asked for it. We would also like to thank our respective families: Mary Mubi (Chipo’s mom) and Jeremias Danell (Sara’s husband) for helping and supporting us all through our Master studies and Isabel Tello (Sara’s mom) for being proud of us and sending us good vibes from Peru.

Göteborg, January 2007

Chipo Mugomba

Sara Caballero Danell

Mugomba & Caballero Danell

ii

Tourism & Hospitality Management

Medical Tourism January 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 1.1 1.2 1.2.1 2 2.1 2.2 3 3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.2 3.2.1 4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.8.1 4.8.2 4.9 5 5.1 5.2 5.2.1

INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................... 1 BACKGROUND ................................................................................................... 1 MEDICAL TOURISM .......................................................................................... 2 MEDICAL TOURISM DESTINATIONS ................................................................... 3 PROBLEM ANALYSIS & RESEARCH QUESTION ................................ 5 PROBLEM ANALYSIS ........................................................................................ 5 RESEARCH QUESTION ...................................................................................... 6 METHODS....................................................................................................... 8 DATA COLLECTION .......................................................................................... 8 SUBJECT DEVELOPMENT.................................................................................... 8 RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT ................................................................................ 9 DATA COLLECTION SOURCES .......................................................................... 14 ANALYSIS ........................................................................................................ 15 DATA TYPOLOGY...
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