The competitive challenge of emerging markets: the case of medical tourism

The competitive challenge of emerging markets: the case of medical tourism Purpose – Increasing globalisation of the healthcare sector suggests that there may be new competitive opportunities for emerging economies in this price‐sensitive sector. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which emerging economies, and in particular the four major Asian competitors – Thailand, India, Malaysia and Singapore – can compete successfully in the medical tourism (MT) sector. Design/methodology/approach – The authors evaluate this sector in terms of Porter's Diamond of National Competitiveness, as well as considering the challenges that competitors must address. The primary challenges relate to attracting consumers, proving assurances of quality for a credence good, increasing scale while maintaining quality, addressing ethical issues and moving beyond simple price‐based competition. Findings – The authors conclude that the major Asian competitors in MT benefit from strong government support, rely heavily on overseas linkages and accreditation, and are competing in very similar ways. In the future, further differentiation is both likely and desirable. Originality/value – The paper offers a theoretically based analysis of the future competitiveness of the rapidly evolving MT industry in four key Asian economies. This industry appears to relate well to the comparative advantage of emerging economies and offers future opportunities for upgrading and value adding. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Emerging Markets Emerald Publishing

The competitive challenge of emerging markets: the case of medical tourism

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1746-8809
DOI
10.1108/17468801111170347
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Increasing globalisation of the healthcare sector suggests that there may be new competitive opportunities for emerging economies in this price‐sensitive sector. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which emerging economies, and in particular the four major Asian competitors – Thailand, India, Malaysia and Singapore – can compete successfully in the medical tourism (MT) sector. Design/methodology/approach – The authors evaluate this sector in terms of Porter's Diamond of National Competitiveness, as well as considering the challenges that competitors must address. The primary challenges relate to attracting consumers, proving assurances of quality for a credence good, increasing scale while maintaining quality, addressing ethical issues and moving beyond simple price‐based competition. Findings – The authors conclude that the major Asian competitors in MT benefit from strong government support, rely heavily on overseas linkages and accreditation, and are competing in very similar ways. In the future, further differentiation is both likely and desirable. Originality/value – The paper offers a theoretically based analysis of the future competitiveness of the rapidly evolving MT industry in four key Asian economies. This industry appears to relate well to the comparative advantage of emerging economies and offers future opportunities for upgrading and value adding.

Journal

International Journal of Emerging MarketsEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 27, 2011

Keywords: Thailand; India; Malaysia; Singapore; Emerging economies; Business development; Globalization; Health care; Medical tourism; Competitive strategy

References

  • The role of affect in consumer satisfaction judgment of credence‐based services
    Alford, B.L.; Sherrell, D.L.
  • Time and technological learning in industrialising countries: how long does it take? How fast is it moving (if at all)?
    Bell, M.
  • On doctors, mechanics and computer specialists: the economics of credence goods
    Dulleck, U.; Kerschbamer, R.
  • Emerging multinationals: outward FDI from the BRICs countries
    Gammeltoft, P.
  • Medical tourism: its potential impact on the health workforce and health systems in India
    Hazarika, I.
  • Technology competitiveness in emerging markets: the case of the Brazilian polymer industry
    Hemais, C.A.; Barros, H.M.; Rosa, E.O.R.
  • How emerging market governments promote outward FDI: experience from China
    Luo, Y.; Xue, Q.; Han, B.

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