International hospital outshopping: a staged model of push and pull factors

Ruamsak Veerasoontorn (Asian Institute of Technology, Pathumthani, Thailand)
Rian Beise‐Zee (Asian Institute of Technology, Pathumthani, Thailand)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Publication date: 7 September 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a general model that examines the contextual factors underlying the decision‐making process of international hospital outshopping.

Design/methodology/approach

Patients who chose medical treatment abroad were selected to analyze the drivers of internationalization in medical services. A total number of 27 international patients who traveled from developed countries to receive medical treatment at the largest hospital in Thailand were interviewed and their responses assessed through narrative analysis.

Findings

The narrative analysis reveals that while high costs and the deteriorating conditions of health care in developed countries are initially driving consumers to leave their local service area and choose foreign service providers, pull factors such as innovation, organizational efficiency, emotional service quality and patient‐doctor relationships in service encounters are nurturing a real preference for choosing foreign health care providers.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory study is limited to the largest hospital in South East Asia. Future research could expand upon its findings and comparisons be made with other different foreign health care providers.

Practical implications

In order to attract foreign customers a personal service, such as medical treatment, must be based on and sustained by continuous innovation in service quality.

Originality/value

The paper is the first empirical in‐depth study that examines the factors underlying the decision‐making process of international hospital outshopping.

Keywords

Citation

Veerasoontorn, R. and Beise‐Zee, R. (2010), "International hospital outshopping: a staged model of push and pull factors", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 247-264. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506121011076174

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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