Original Article

Barriers of Developing Medical Tourism in a Destination: A Case of South Korea


Background: This study aimed to determine the efficient factors that potentially lead to the barriers of developing medical tourism in South Korea.

Methods: To explore the current medical tourism trend, a qualitative procedure was adopted. Besides analyzing the current situation of medical tourism in Korea through a systematic searching on the available information and publications, in-depth-interviews were conducted to collect data from relevant authorities and representatives of medical tourism associations in this country.

Results: The result revealed, although government have supported this industry, that lack of specialty and expertise among the health care practitioners in the scope of cross cultural communication, seems to be the core barrier to development of medical tourism in Korea. Demands for convenient promotional activities, policy making and action regulation are the other effective factors.

Discussion: Several strategies are required in order to address and combat these barriers, such as governmental support for cultural training, cooperative efforts to encourage health practitioners involved to enhance their cultural and linguistic competence in international scale.



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IssueVol 46 No 7 (2017) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Medical tourism Cultural competence Linguistic proficiency International healthcare Korea

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How to Cite
ROKNI L, AVCI T, PARK SH. Barriers of Developing Medical Tourism in a Destination: A Case of South Korea. Iran J Public Health. 2017;46(7):930-937.