Using AHP to Prioritize Barriers in Developing Medical Tourism: Case of Turkey

Document Type: Original Article


1 Healthcare Management Department, Vocational School of Healthcare Services, Tarsus University, Mersin, Turkey

2 Medical Documentation and Secretarial Department, Vocational School, Cag University, Mersin, Turkey


Introduction: In the globalizing world; the concept of medical tourism comes to the fore with the increase in travel freedoms between countries, easier transportation facilities, and the increased quality of healthcare services in different countries. This study aims to examine the barriers to developing medical tourism and prioritize the factors to give an insight on where to allocate resources in the scope of a conceptual framework on medical tourism.
Methods: Barriers to medical tourism in Turkey were identified based on the literature and experts’ opinions. As a result of the expert opinions, 23 factors were identified and grouped under five main categories. The analytical hierarchy process method was used to prioritize the factors. A pair-wise comparison form was prepared by the researcher and sent to experts. The data obtained from these forms was analyzed and weights were calculated.
Results: The factors were ranked from most important to least important as follows: negative corporate image (w=0.319), quality of healthcare (w=0.198), incompatible regulations/law (w=0.177), human resources (w=0.163), and underdeveloped infrastructure (w=0.142).
Conclusion: It was determined that the development of medical tourism is not sufficient, despite the great potential of Turkey in terms of technological healthcare services and attractiveness of tourism destinations. Major attempts should be made in marketing to attract medical tourists.