Investigating the obstacles and difficulties of using the potentials of medical tourism in Shiraz hospitals

Alireza Mooghali, Ahmad Rajabi, Roya Khalili, Omid Fazelzadeh, Parisa Nabeiei

Abstract


 

Introduction: The tourism industry is one of the greatest professions in the world and the governments have considered it as an important activity to achieve their macroeconomics objectives. One of the branches of this industry is medical tourism. Considering the importance of this issue, this study investigated the obstacles and problems of medical tourism with an adaptive approach between public and private hospitals.

Method: This study was cross-sectional, descriptive and analytical. In this study, two tools of checklists and questionnaires in three areas of financial infrastructure, skilled manpower and facilities were used to collect the data. The study population included all senior hospital executives (chairman, manager, matron, the receptionist, clinical supervisor) of 14 private hospitals and six governmental hospitals in Shiraz that admit tourists.

Results: A total number of 94 subjects participated in the study, of whom 54 (57%) were female and 38 (43%) were male with a mean age of 47 years and 22.5 years of work experience. The results of the checklist showed that seven private hospitals (50%) and four public hospitals (67%) had lack of infrastructure. There are significant differences in the number of medical tourists’ admission between private and public hospitals (P=0.001). The results did not show a significant difference between the views of senior executives in private and public hospitals on the effects of these three infrastructures, human resources, financial facilities and equipment on more tourists’ attraction (P=0.077 and P=0.416 and P=0.355).

Conclusion: According to the results, admitting foreign patients more frequently occurs in private hospitals due to the presence of famous physicians. It seems that with proper collaboration of some organizations and establishment of health tourism office in these hospitals, including Cultural Heritage and Handicrafts and Tourism, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences and the Governor, we can solve the problem of Shiraz low entry of foreign medical tourists to the public hospitals, which is followed by foreign exchange, employment, satisfaction and touted by foreign patients in their own countries, as well.

Keywords: Database, Medical tourism, Hospitals, Managers, Organization


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