Medical tourism is the new form of niche market in the tourism industry, which has grown rapidly in recent years. Medical tourism refers tourists traveling abroad to obtain medical care serves, such as dental care, healthcare and surgical care. They combine treatment with visiting the tourist attractions of the destination country.
The common concept of healthcare marketing was controversial about 30 years back. Now it is attracting millions of people all over the globe. Medical tourism is a rising phenomenon in the 21st century. The third world countries have seen a considerable increase in the number of visitors from the first world countries for health and medical purpose. It can be termed as a travel activity, which involves a medical procedure.
Most medical tourism advertisements stress on advantageous factors, such as reliability, technology, quality of healthcare and overseas training. The major factor of an increasingly consumer-driven era of healthcare is a push towards different methods of cost transparency. Many health insurance companies are working to make medical tourism affordable by making different policies and providing an estimated cost for healthcare services to their clients who enroll for the health plan. Marketing strategies also includes competition in the price and there are many hospitals in the same place in a particular destination or area, which offers different price for the same treatment.
On the other hand, some marketing strategies are unethical too. For the sake of some personal benefits, some medical fraternities go hand in hand with the medical marketing companies. Doctors usually implant an expensive device, which the patient may have spent less if the doctors used and inexpensive implant with the same benefits. This is unethical as well as dangerous for the patient undergoing surgery under general anesthesia with a very high chance of catching infections.
Many strategies range from hospital decors and displays, facilities for customers, to the countless inventive services provided to attract the customers. The organizations sensitively plan their options because they know that only fulfilling the primary economic transaction is not enough. To entice more customers, it is vital to give them an environment that takes proper care and in turn, fulfills all their basic needs regarding expediency, safety, information, entertainment and soothe.
Every industry needs an effective strategy to promote their brand and service. Medical tourism is one of them, due to the growth of medical tourism industry it is become even more important to make a suitable and an effective medical tourism marketing strategy for the smooth running of this sector.