Document Type : Original Article
1Ph.D. student of business management, Department of marketing management, Mobarakeh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran
Medical tourism, as a flourishing and profitable industry, has attracted the attention of many countries. The purpose of the present research was to propose a model to improve the competitiveness of Iran's medical tourism industry. In terms of philosophical foundations, the present study was interpretive. It is applied and developmental in nature. It was also inductive and followed a qualitative approach. The data collection method was a semi-structured interview following a review of the related literature. The research population comprised 110 hospitals formally permitted to treat foreigners. The sample consisted of 10 interviewees selected in a convenience sampling method. The data collection continued until data saturation. The collected data were analyzed in MAXQDA2020. Having coded the transcribed interviews, the authors extracted 175 keywords (Memo). After standardization, the codes were divided into 15 main categories and 77 sub-categories, which included: government support, standardization of medical services, development of medical tourism, quality of medical services, cost of medical services, hospital facilities and equipment, branding, marketing, advertising, culture, and so forth. As the findings showed, Iran is not yet prepared for the globalization and competitiveness of the healthcare services it provides. In the first place, attention to and satisfaction of domestic needs seem to be essential along with a scientific and technological development, standardization, advertisement and marketing of health services.