Drivers and implications of medical tourism: a neo-institutional perspective

Purpose of the paper: The paper aims at adding a new contribution to the field of Medical Tourism by proposing a Situationist View of the phenomenon. In doing this, we have taken into account the global dimension of Medical Tourism, thus widening the well-known neo-institutional framework.

Methods: We scanned Business Source Premier, Elsevier Freedom Collection, and JSTOR, using Medical Tourism and neo-institutionalism search criteria. After realizing the lack of resources about the topic, we matched the available contributions about Medical Tourism and neo – institutionalism in order to develop a new theoretical framework.

Findings: The original neo-institutional model has been widened for the first time in order to provide a better understanding of Medical Tourisms worldwide dimension.

Originality and limits of the study: The main contribution of the paper is its potential to reach beyond the more narrowly focused journals where many of the contributions about Medical Tourism reside.

The lack of empirical evidence is one of the main limits of the paper. Because of the innovativeness of the developed theoretical framework, future investigations need to be carried out.

Practical Implications: The developed theoretical framework provides the basis for a better understanding of Medical Tourism at a global level, as well as of the dynamics that underlie it. Additionally, our paper poses new and interesting research questions about the potential sustainability of Medical Tourism at a societal level, thus requiring future investigation into the issue.

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