Factors affecting health tourism and international health-care facility choice

G. Aydin, Bilge Karamehmet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Health-care tourism has become a major industry in the past decade. Following the increasing activity in health-care tourism, the decision-making process of consumers in choosing an international health-care facility has become increasingly important to the related parties. The present study aims to offer a holistic model of international health-care facility choice that incorporates the important dimensions by assessing the growth drivers and the alternative factors proposed in the literature and by validating them via a survey study.

The factors deemed important in the existing literature were used as the basis of a study in Turkey. In total, 65 structured interviews were conducted with health-care professionals and international health tourists to understand the perspective of the two important parties that affect policymaking.

The findings of the study support the significance of the majority of the variables proposed as important factors affecting international health-care facility choice.

Research limitations/implications:
The study was carried out in four large hospital chains in Turkey; however, this creates a limitation in scope and may have limited representativeness of the overall market. The model has yet to be tested on a larger scale.

Practical implications:
There are significant differences in the opinions of professionals and international health-care tourists in terms of choice criteria. This indicates problems with health professionals’ understanding of the consumer decision process.

The study provides a model that can be used to gain insights on the consumer decision process and also provides the policymakers and stakeholders of the international health-care industry with a sound theoretical foundation to build further studies upon. Only a limited number of studies was carried out in Turkey that focus on international health-care tourism, and the present study will fill a substantial research gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-36
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017


  • Medical tourism
  • Health tourism
  • Health-care facility choice
  • Health-care toursim
  • International health-care


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