Medical Tourism Challenges After the Prevalence of COVID-19: The Neurosurgery Field

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Al‑Zahra Hospital, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Kashani Hospital, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

3 School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of IT, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has widely affected medical tourism on a global scale, thereby reducing the number and volume of medical services. Given the importance of this topic, the present study aimed to determine the challenges of medical tourism after the prevalence of COVID-19 in the field of neurosurgery.
Methods: The present descriptive study was conducted by the neurosurgery department of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran in the first quarter of 2022. Using the convenience sampling method and based on Morgan’s table, 500 patients with neurosurgical diseases registered in Medical Tourism companies were identified and included in the study. The data were analyzed in SPSS.
Results: 142 (28.4%) out of 500 patients with COVID-19 were willing to come to Iran for neurosurgical treatment. The most important non-medical reasons included natural attractions (4.37±0.44), cost-effective accommodation (4.03±0.23), and support from a country of destination (place of residence) (3.75±0.22). The most important medical reasons included the short waiting list, the fast treatment response (4.26±0.76), the availability of qualified doctors (3.96±0.27), and the low-cost treatment (3.87±0.53).
Conclusion: The present study focused on the functions and potentials of medical tourism in neurosurgery. It can be more successful by providing the right conditions to improve the current situation.

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