Inbound and Outbound Medical Travel in Austria

Österle, August ORCID: and Diesenreiter, Carina and Glinsner, Barbara and Reichel, Eva (2021) Inbound and Outbound Medical Travel in Austria. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 35 (9). pp. 34-49. ISSN 1477-7266

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is twofold: First, it analyzes demand and supply-side factors that influence patient flows to and from Austria. Second, building on the empirical research and existing conceptualizations, the study offers a general extended framework to guide future comparative analysis. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on multiple data sources including a literature review, secondary data, website analysis and semi-structured interviews with patients and health providers. Content analysis was carried out to identify common motives for seeking care abroad and providers' orientation towards medical travel. Findings: Outbound medical travel is largely determined by factors of access, affordability and vicinity, while inbound medical travel is predominately driven by a lack of adequate medical infrastructure in source countries and quality, both in terms of medical and service quality. Providers distinguish themselves according to the extent they take part in medical travel. Research limitations/implications: The findings emerging from a single country case study approach cannot be generalized across settings and contexts, albeit contributing to a better understanding of current medical travel patterns in Europe. Originality/value: Unlike most recent contributions, this study focuses both on inbound and outbound medical travel in Austria and investigates patient flows for distinctive treatments and drivers. While analysis of the supply-side of medical travel is often limited to tourism studies, this study provides a critical insight into developments in Europe from a health policy perspective, acknowledging that diverse medical travel patterns in Europe coexist.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Medical tourism, Cross-border health care, Patient mobility, Europe, Framework
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Sozialpolitik
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 09:06
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2021 09:06
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