An Investigation of the Acquisition and Experience of Medical Tourism: The Case of Jordan
Al-Maaitah, Hadeel Mahmoud Khaleel
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
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The purpose of this study is to investigate medical tourism in Jordan through the international patients‘ perspective. The aim is to contribute to a better understanding of international patients‘ consumption behaviour to seek medical treatment, and while at the destination. And also to better understand the medical tourists‘ perceptions of quality of healthcare services. This research was designed to facilitate the identification of the characteristics of medical tourists, their visit, their sources of information and the main pull/push factors influencing their decision to travel. Moreover, it was designed to identify the level of satisfaction held by medical tourists towards their patient experience and their satisfaction predictors, by translating, adapting and validating a patient-centred quality of care instrument and assessing its psychometric properties amongst them. This research used a mixed-methods case study approach. It was conducted in 7 private hospitals with a primary quantitative research method through 302 interviewer-administered questionnaires and descriptive quantitative statistics, Mann-Whitney U Non-Parametric Significance Tests, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Factor Analysis. As a complement, qualitative research through 20 semi-structured interviews and content analysis was conducted in order to provide further insights into this area of research. The findings suggest that word-of-mouth recommendations and reputation have the utmost role in informing international patients of healthcare options in Jordan. Furthermore, recommendations from family and friends are the second most important after availability of specialized treatments in influencing the 3 international patients‘ decision to seek international healthcare. Moreover, significant differences in these terms exist between first and repeat visitors, which hold important implications for tourism marketers. Further marketing implications also exist as most patients shift in the type of activities they and their companions undertake after the main treatment period is completed. In terms of satisfaction, Factor Analysis suggest that medical tourists satisfaction of quality of services in Jordan‘s hospitals is based on six predictors including nutritional care, nursing care, physician care, room atmosphere, the procedure for incoming patients and other hospital services. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses show that medical tourists are satisfied with the quality of health care services rendered to them. However, minor areas show less satisfaction. The findings raise issues regarding the recruitment of non-Arab speaking nurses. Drawing together these findings presents implications for medical tourism management, international healthcare marketing, policy-making, and continuous improvement of the services they provide.
PhD in Management Studies