Title: The nexus between medical tourism and health policy: a comparative case analysis of Australia, Germany, Italy and Poland

Authors: Christof Pforr; Cornelia Locher; Michael Volgger; Anna Białk-Wolf

Addresses: School of Marketing (Tourism Research Cluster), Curtin University, G. P.O. Box 1987, Perth WA 6845, Australia ' School of Allied Health, University of Western Australia, Crawley WA 6009, Australia ' School of Marketing (Tourism Research Cluster), Curtin University, G.P.O. Box 1987, Perth WA 6845, Australia ' University of Business and Administration in Gdynia, Kielecka 7, 81-303 Gdynia, Poland

Abstract: In many countries around the world an adequate financing of healthcare has been increasingly challenging in recent decades and has triggered a wide range of reform measures which are aimed at reigning in spiralling healthcare costs. In this paper it is examined in how far these developments have had an impact specifically on the demand and supply of medical tourism. The study is based on the analysis of four countries, Germany, Australia, Italy and Poland, which represent different types of healthcare systems regarding their service provision, financing and regulation. The paper demonstrates that the approach to healthcare governance adopted in the four case studies has led to distinct landscapes of medical tourism. It provides a welcome contribution to the still very limited body of research on the interplay of healthcare systems, health policies and medical tourism. It highlights the dynamics and complexities experienced in different destination contexts and in doing so offer a novel comparative perspective.

Keywords: medical tourism; healthcare systems; health policy; Australia; Germany; Italy; Poland.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2020.111289

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2020 Vol.10 No.3, pp.244 - 261

Received: 20 Sep 2019
Accepted: 27 Jul 2020

Published online: 06 Nov 2020 *

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