Importance of culturally competent health literacy for medical tourism


With the globalisation of healthcare provision including medical procedures, health literacy is becoming more so essential not only for medical tourists but also for medical tourism service providers, such as hospital management and administrative staff, medical tour operators, website designers for medical tourism, hospitality and food and beverage businesses, medical travel agents, international airlines services, interpreters and other allied health and medical care providers. Medical tourism service providers have to have sufficient ‘health literacy which is consumer centered’ to understand and cater for the health and medical needs of medical tourist as a consumer of medical services abroad. Health care service providers and medical tourism operators are empowering patients to make their own decision to travel, with information related to health cost, quality of healthcare and matters related to diagnostic treatment, surgical procedure, waiting period, pre and post-surgery care, prescription and risk of surgery. Key aim of this paper is to propose a conceptual model of health literacy for medical tourism. The introductory section of the paper provides a background to the importance of health literacy for medical tourist and medical tourism service providers. Section two puts forward a literature review specific to health literacy and medical tourism. Section three, highlights the significance of health literacy for medical tourism industry as a whole. Finally this paper proposes a conceptual model of culturally competent health literacy for medical tourism followed by some managerial and policy implications, and providing future research direction

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oaioai:acquire.cqu.edu.au:cqu:9023Last time updated on 7/1/2013

This paper was published in ACQUIRE.

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