Motivational factors for choosing treatment destinations among the patients treated overseas from the United Arab Emirates: Results from the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions survey 2012

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Travelling seeking healthcare is becoming common phenomenon. There is limited research to understand factors associated with destinations of choice. Each year the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) spends millions of dollars to cover Emiratis seeking healthcare overseas. The objective of this study is to examine the association of treatment destinations, patients' characteristics and motivation factors among the patients treated overseas from the UAE during 2009-2012. Method: The data from the Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions Survey 2012 in Dubai on medical travel. Examining destinations by patients' characteristics and motivational factors under push and pull factor framework. Modified Poisson regression model was used to identify factors associated with treatment destinations. Results: Three hundred thirty-six UAE national families with a member who sought overseas treatment during 2009-2012 were analyzed for this study regarding their most recent trip. The aim of the survey is to explore their knowledge, attitudes and perceptions. The majority of respondents were family members not the patients who had experienced the medical treatment overseas (63%). Germany was the top treatment destination (45%). The top 3 medical conditions for which people traveled overseas were cancer (17%), bone and joint diseases (16%), and heart diseases (15%). However, patients diagnosed with stroke (brain hemorrhage or clot) are more likely to travel to Germany for medical treatment while patients diagnosed with eye diseases are more likely to seek medical treatment at other destinations. Cost was a primary motivational factor for choosing a treatment destination. Conclusion: This study addressed knowledge gap related medical travel in the UAE. The results provided evidence about perceptions when choosing treatment destinations. Medical condition and financial factors were main predictors for choosing treatment destination. The result will influence policies related financial coverage by the government. The results suggest understanding patients' perceptions in-depth related their medical conditions and financial factors for better regulation of overseas treatment strategy in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18
JournalTropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2019

Keywords

  • Medical travel
  • Medical travel motivation
  • Overseas treatment
  • Push and pull factors
  • Travel medicine
  • Treatment destination
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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