Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
International trade in services has increased over the past 30 years as a result of progress in information and communication technology, increased focus on services from the manufacturing sector and the establishment of trade associations.
The international market for healthcare services, also referred to as medical tourism, is growing more and more. Patients increasingly seeking treatment at other countries healthcare systems because of long queues within their own country or because it exists better prices for the same care abroad. However, this type of service exports occurs at a limited extent in Sweden.
The purpose of this study is to highlight and analyze the conditions for Swedish service companies to export healthcare services. This, includes the challenges and opportunities that exist to expand the exports of these services.
The approach for this study has been in the form of interviews with two market actors and written responses, from the same interview guide, with three market actors. These market participants are the so-called Care companies which export healthcare services in various counties, and the membership organization Swecare who work with export promotion activities for its members in the Swedish healthcare sector. The Care companies who participated in the study are Sahlgrenska International Care, Skåne Care, Umeå Care and Uppsala Care.
The study shows that the structures for customer contact with the patient and ancillary service exists. It appeared that the market actors experiences the current conditions as good due to the Swedish health care services are of high quality, but that the accessibility in certain areas varies. The market actors perceives that Sweden has a strong nation brand linked to high competence and reliability, as well as they described their networks as good but can always be better. The regulations and political aspects that can facilitate the export business is primarily the Patient Mobility Directive that problematizes the commercial requirement of the EU- and EEA-patients and that certain visa requirements can be. Moreover, it’s necessary to communicate and account the exports real effects on Swedish healthcare. The study also shows that the participants see the future opportunities as good.
2014. , 74 p.