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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 99-104

Capabilities of infertility tourism in Isfahan: A qualitative study 1

1 Health Management and Economics Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Children's Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Student Research Committee, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Zahra Agharahimi
Children's Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-9019.128123

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Introduction: Several constraining rules on infertility treatment in many countries lead to providing market in infertility treatments as one of the developing medical tourism markets. Further, many patients travel abroad to receive the services with lower costs. The present study attempts to identify Isfahan capabilities of infertility tourism. Materials and Methods: The present study is a qualitative research. The subjects participated were a group of 11 gynecologists working in the centers providing infertility treatment in Isfahan, who were chosen purposefully. To gather the data, they were given a semi-structured questionnaire and to analyze them, content analysis was performed. Findings: Total of 3 themes and 13 sub-themes were identified: Two sub-themes were stated as "the nature of foreign patients' demand" namely "Iranian citizens abroad" and "patients in neighboring countries". "Factors underlying therapeutic journey" includes "skilled gynecologists", "human resources professionals in fertility treatment" (16 persons), "cost advantage", "environmental features" and "ethnic and cultural advantage in Persian Gulf countries" which, in participants' point of view, all show Isfahan capabilities to succeed in infertility tourism. The third theme, "factors underlying medical tourism development", includes "basic tourism infrastructure enhancement", "infertility hospitals and clinics development", "inter-sectoral collaboration at the macro level", "inter-sectoral collaboration at the operational level", "marketing and information" and "census and registry system". Conclusion: Noting the capabilities of medical sector and low costs of infertility services in Isfahan, we can conclude that policy-making and comprehensive planning to remove the challenges at macro and operational level can make Iran more actively successful in the field.

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