Traveling abroad for medical care: U.S. medical tourists' expectations and perceptions of service quality.

Research paper by Michael M Guiry, David G DG Vequist

Indexed on: 06 Aug '11Published on: 06 Aug '11Published in: Health marketing quarterly


The SERVQUAL scale has been widely used to measure service quality in the health care industry. This research is the first study that used SERVQUAL to assess U.S. medical tourists' expectations and perceptions of the service quality of health care facilities located outside the United States. Based on a sample of U.S. consumers, who had traveled abroad for medical care, the results indicated that there were significant differences between U.S. medical tourists' perceived level of service provided and their expectations of the service that should be provided for four of the five dimensions of service quality. Reliability had the largest service quality gap followed by assurance, tangibles, and empathy. Responsiveness was the only dimension without a significantly different gap score. The study establishes a foundation for future research on service quality in the rapidly growing medical tourism industry.