Decision Factors in Medical Tourism: Evidence from Burmese Visitors to a Hospital in Bangkok



Maung, Nay Lynn Yin and John Walsh, “Decision Factors in Medical Tourism: Evidence from Burmese Visitors to a Hospital in Bangkok,” Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, Vol.6, No.2 (February, 2014), pp.84-94.

Abstract: Medical tourism is a significant factor in Thailand’s economy as the country aims to develop more high value-added activities to escape from the middle income trap. The country has a number of highly advanced private sector hospitals, with western-trained physicians and the legendary service levels provided in Thailand. There are several prime targets for promoting medical tourism, which include the Middle East and South Asia, as well as some western countries, but one which is often ignored is neighbouring Myanmar. This country is emerging from military dictatorship and has an unequal society in which there are a number of wealthy individuals unable to find the level of medical service they require in their homeland. Many Burmese people speak English, which is the international language of tourism and medicine. For such people, Thailand is a logical destination in the search for high-quality medical tourism. However, little if any research has been conducted to determine the levels of satisfaction that patients and their carers have received in Thailand and what improvements in service would be required.This paper aims to fill that gap to some extent by reporting on a quantitative survey of 200 Burmese users of a well-known private sector hospital in Bangkok. Their levels of satisfaction are charted and this leads to discussion of the meaning of their visit and its overall impact and benefit.

Keywords: Hospital management, medical tourism, Myanmar, Thailand


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