Volume 35, Issue 1 (1-2021)                   Med J Islam Repub Iran 2021 | Back to browse issues page

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Sarabi Asiabar A, Rezapour A, Raei B, Tahernezhad A, Alipour V, Behzadifar M, et al . Economic, Cultural, and Political Requirements for Medical Tourism Development in Iran: Insights from a Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process Method. Med J Islam Repub Iran 2021; 35 (1) :1412-1417
URL: http://mjiri.iums.ac.ir/article-1-7674-en.html
Hospital Management Research Center, & Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran , azari.sa@iums.ac.ir
Abstract:   (1443 Views)
    Background: According to the World Bank, the medical tourism industry in 2016 generated more than $100 billion revenue turnover for the destination countries. This study aims to investigate the developmental requirements of medical tourism industry in Iran to identify sustainable development strategies within this sector.
   Methods: The present study was an applied-analytical study performed in a cross-sectional manner. A total of 25 experts, including policy experts, decision-makers, and managers with over 10 years of experience in the health system and familiar with the process of attracting medical tourists from foreign countries were asked to compare options for the development of the medical tourism. Expert opinions were analyzed using a fuzzy analytical hierarchy process using the open-source R Studio software.
   Results: Out of the 5 items included in the questionnaire, the criterion of "government policy making and related entities" was ranked the first in terms of importance and prioritization for medical tourism development (0.249) through attracting domestic and foreign investments followed by advertising and marketing (0.241). Also, the criteria of "destination characteristics" and "facilities and status of service capacities with 0.111 and 0.185 weights had the lowest weight among the 5 items, respectively.
   Conclusion: In general, governments play a key role in marketing and promoting the nascent medical tourism industry. Experts in the field believe that the role of government, policy and decision-makers in medical tourism can be an advantage for its prosperity and development.
Keywords: Medical tourism, AHP, Fuzzy, Iran
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