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Objectives: Advanced medical treatments and service quality for Hong Kong residents are well regarded. However, numerous senior residents continue to explore alternative medical treatments and wellbeing activities outside the region. The research objectives of this study are 1) to assess the perception of senior tourists of the medical quality attributes of medical tourism destinations and 2) to compare the different perceptions of tourists of medical service attributes, wellbeing and behavioural intention towards medical tourism destinations.
Design: The questionnaire instrument was written in English and Chinese based on the literature review. The target population was senior residents with experience in seeking medical treatments and services abroad, specifically, outside Hong Kong. Convenience sampling was employed to recruit senior respondents to answer the questionnaire. Data collection was from July to October 2019 in residential areas and senior citizen neighbourhood centres in Hong Kong.
Results: Results show that among the 74 respondents, only 42% have overseas medical experiences. The countries involved are Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, China, the United States, Malaysia and Thailand. The senior residents have a more positive perception of medical quality (e.g. appointment procedure, short waiting time and physician reliability) and wellbeing (e.g. response to needs and social wellbeing) in overseas medical destinations compared with Hong Kong. However, no mean difference is observed in behavioural intention between Hong Kong and overseas medical destinations from the perspective of the senior respondents.
Conclusions: Hong Kong senior residents may consider travelling overseas to seek medical treatments and wellbeing activities. Senior residents tend to travel to nearby countries for cosmetic/plastic surgery, eye surgery/Lasik and dental surgery. Moreover, senior residents perceive the communication skills of physicians and staff overseas in answering enquiries on medical procedures whilst receiving medical treatment as high quality compared with Hong Kong.