Borderless advances in technology coupled with affordable travelling offers have significantly brought advantage to the tourism industry globally. Medical tourism is partly resulting from globalisation of healthcare and tourism itself constituting huge economic potential for global economy (Bookman & Bookman, 2007). As defined by Gupta (2004), medical tourism consists of cost-effective medical care for patients which collaborate with the tourism industry. While having the advantage of medical surgery or treatment in a chosen destination country, health travellers can also vacationing at the same time. As characterise by Connell (2006), medical tourism is a popular cultural phenomenon when people make a long journey in order to obtain medical, dental and surgical services while vacationing. Medical tourism practices depends on successfully informing potential patients regarding procedure options, treatment facilities, tourism opportunities, travel arrangements, and destination countries (Crooks, Turner, Snyder, Johnston, & Kingsbury, 2011). These long journeys by health travellers across intercontinental countries such as Europe to Asia seeking treatments which include dental care, cosmetic surgeries, elective surgeries and in-vitro-fertilization (IVF) (CBC News, 2006; Connell, 2006; L. Turner, 2008). The active regions and countries delivering medical tourism services include Asia (Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore); Eastern Europe (Hungary and Poland); Mediterranean (Malta and Cyprus); Africa (particularly South Africa); South and Central America (Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, and Cuba); and the Middle East (particularly Dubai and Jordan) (Carrera & Lunt, 2010). In 2011, Malaysia received approximately 287,334 foreign medical tourists with the highest patients coming from Indonesia. This clearly illustrates the increasingly growth of supply and demand of medical tourism industry.
source: Wan Normila Mohamad et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 65 ( 2012 ) 358 – 363