Surgery and a Holiday
Medical tourism is expected to be a $125 billion industry by 2021. People from developed countries are
heading to developing countries for cosmetic or dental surgery because it is less expensive and typically
not covered by insurance. For example, a knee replacement that costs $35,000 in the U.S. could run
$6,600 in India. It is estimated that more than 10 million people left the U.S. in 2016 for medical
treatment abroad. The more popular destinations include India, Brazil, Thailand, Turkey, Mexico, and
A number of businesses have sprung up to serve these customers. There are startups that are
developing websites similar to Airbnb and Hotels.com that are specifically targeting medical procedures
so the potential traveler can search by type of medical procedure. Medigo GmbH, one provider located
in Berlin, has served over 125,000 patients, and encourages its customers to leave reviews. Another
company, Medical Departures International, is one of several medical tourism travel agencies helping
people explore their options for a variety of surgeries including dental, cosmetic and knee.
Despite the growing popularity of medical tourism, there are challenges. Dhiraj Joshi, a health care
strategist located in Dubai, describes the challenge as follows: “For somebody to let someone else 3,000
miles away open their chest and do a heart surgery, that decision is never taken solely on convenience
or cost alone.”
Visit the website for Medical Departures International to learn more. Then, answer the following
1. As explained in your textbook, the marketing concept means that an organization directs its
efforts at satisfying customers at a profit. How does Medical Departures International work to
deliver superior customer value? See your textbook for more discussion on the interplay
between the marketing concept and customer value. (50 points)
2. What is the marketing strategy implemented by Medical Departures International? Discuss both
the target market and the related marketing mix. Provide specific examples from the website in
your answer. (50 points)
Source: “Click Here for Hip Surgery and a Holiday” by Ari Altstedter, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 16,
Tips for Writing an Analytical Paper
1. Define the marketing principles used in your answer. In other words, demonstrate that you
read the assigned readings.
2. Analysis is NOT the same as opinion. Analysis is based on facts and principles. You organize
your answer around the marketing principle(s) that is(are) relevant to the analysis.
Example: A target market is a homogeneous group of customers that the company chooses to
pursue. Starting with this core definition as your guide to analyzing who is the company’s target
market, you must find evidence of how the customers in the group are similar (homogeneous)
as well as evidence that the company is pursuing them. Notice that the definition guides you in
determining which facts are relevant and important. Connect the relevant facts to the
3. Edit your answer before submitting it. Correct all errors (grammar, organization and spelling).
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