Study of the knowledge, attitude and experience of medical tourism among target groups with special emphasis on South India
Rajeev, A. and Latif, Sanam (2009) Study of the knowledge, attitude and experience of medical tourism among target groups with special emphasis on South India. Online Journal of Health andAllied Sciences, 8 (2). ISSN 0972-5997
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Medical tourism aims at providing cost-effective customized health care in collaboration with the tourism industry in distant locations wherein the hospitality component is handled efficiently so that fixing appointments, making arrangements for accommodation and other logistics become hassle-free for the patient. This allows more concentration on the procedure at hand and the interaction between the medical fraternity and the patient becomes smoother. More and more hospitals in India are gearing up to provide such services to neighboring countries and even to the developed nations across the world. The purpose of this study was to study the knowledge, attitude and experiences of the population of a suitable cross-section regarding the emerging scenario of medical tourism with special interest vis-à-vis Non Resident Indians (NRIs) specifically to the state of Karnataka and Mangalore in particular. It was found that compared to the locals (kannadigas or non-kannadigas), the Non-resident Indians were more dissatisfied with the health care facilities available in their proximity. Though a majority of them do have medical insurance, it still looks as if the care is more cost-effective when sourced to India. NRIs are more aware of the potential of medical tourism through their communication with the medical fraternity as well as the general public and 11.1% of NRIs have really utilized the services of medical tourism. An e-mail survey which was also conducted among a number of foreigners yielded the interesting fact that they indeed had a greater awareness regarding medical tourism with an emphasis on health tourism. The reason why these foreigners opted for medical tourism was due to the substandard medical care available in their locality, rather than due to the cost of medical care as such.
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