Uluslararası Hastaların Hacettepe Üniversitesi Hastanelerini Tercih Nedenleri, Hizmet İle İlgili Değerlendirmeleri ve Yaşadıkları Sorunlar
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Health tourism has developed in all over the world in recent years, and it has started to be considered by many areas and sectors as an alternative type of tourism since it provides added value to the city or country that is going. There has been an increase in the quality of health care services and competition because the people who cannot get the health care services that they want where they live, has been travelling to the places that they can get better services. Many studies investigated the current status of health tourism in Turkey and strategic steps to be taken in the future. However, studies on the preferences of the international patients, their evaluations on the services they received and the problems they may have faced have not been reached. In this study, we aimed to explore the reasons for the preference of Hacettepe University Hospitals, which is a reference health care center in Turkey that has served 3249 international patients in 2015, by international patients, their evaluations on the health care services and the problems associated with the services they received. The study included 344 patients over 18 years of age who presented to Hacettepe University Hospitals and received either inpatient and outpatient health care services between July 2016 and December 2017 to receive health care services from abroad. Based on the study findings, the international patients preferred Hacettepe University Hospitals mostly due to “the international reputation of doctors”, factors affecting the process of obtaining the service and the quality of the service. Regarding the process of obtaining the service, the patients mostly had issues with the support service and least with scheduling appointments. Regarding the quality of the service, patients were mostly satisfied with the quality of the doctors and least with the process of service. There was a significant difference in participants’ problems while obtaining the service based on their country of origin, age, income, level of education, receiving service previously in another country or any other Hacettepe Hospitals, the method of contacting with the hospital and the source of information about the hospital. Regarding the satisfaction from the service, there was a significant difference between patients based on the problems they faced during obtaining the service, country of origin, age, receiving service previously from Hacettepe Hospitals and the source of information about the hospital. 87.4% of the participants reported that they would refer patients to this hospital, and 91% of the participants reported that they would re-visit this hospital if there will be any future need. Patients’ decision about referral was significantly affected by the satisfaction from the processes of service and income. Patients’ decision about re-visiting the hospital was significantly affected by the satisfaction from the processes of service, gender, level of education. The findings of the research are expected to provide data and information to the hospital managers in the field of health tourism to increase the international patient potential and to contribute the literature in health tourism.