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Medical tourism: tourists’ perceived services and satisfaction lessons from Malaysian hospitals

Muhammad Khalilur Rahman (Department of Operation and Management Information Systems, Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 30 May 2019

Issue publication date: 19 June 2019




The medical tourism industry has become one of the most profitable industries around the world wherein most of the countries exploit every effort to attract medical tourists to take advantage of its medical care benefits. The purpose of this study is to explore the determinants of medical tourists’ perceived services and their satisfaction for medical care in hospitals.


The quantitative method was conducted to examine the three groups of foreign travellers such as medical tourists, expats and normative medial tourists’ perceived medical services quality and satisfaction. Data from a survey of 266 respondents were analyzed using the structural equation modelling technique.


The findings of this study provide evidence that hospital accessibility and interpersonal behaviour are the most critical constructs that influence medical tourists’ attributes. Additionally, medical costs and health-care technicality have a significant relationship with the perceived services of medical tourists. The study also demonstrated that medical tourists’ satisfaction highly attributed to their perceived services towards the quality of medical care they received and experienced in the hospitals.

Practical implications

The results have important implications for managerial considerations at hospitals. Hospital accessibility is a crucial dimension to be measured at hospitals when measuring service quality. Service providers need to be mindful that all aspects of medical services are essential and need to be delivered satisfactorily to ensure customer satisfaction. Patients’ perceived services and their satisfaction is a crucial bridge in determining the likelihood of future return among patients to the hospitals.


This study has managed to convincingly secure findings to provide useful information and understanding of the hospital accessibility and interpersonal manner of health-care professionals at hospitals in Malaysia. Particularly, when any hospital offers quality services, they must consider the reasonable medical expenses that can be affordable by the average people and update their medical equipment that are necessary for technical and diagnostic purposes. By ensuring these, they can attract the medical tourists.



Rahman, M.K. (2019), "Medical tourism: tourists’ perceived services and satisfaction lessons from Malaysian hospitals", Tourism Review, Vol. 74 No. 3, pp. 739-758.



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