Supplier selection and capacity allocation in medical tourism service supply chain

Karadayi-Usta S., Serdarasan S.

OPSEARCH, 2023 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12597-023-00649-w
  • Journal Name: OPSEARCH
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, INSPEC, zbMATH
  • Keywords: Fuzzy optimization, Fuzzy rule-based system, Medical tourism, Medical tourism service supply chain, Order allocation, Supplier selection
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Medical tourism refers to people traveling abroad to benefit from both medical and tourism services. The delivery of medical tourism services requires the simultaneous participation of multiple service providers. This study focuses on the tactical decision level of supply chain planning and aims to evaluate and select the providers of the services that are offered in a medical tourism service package by a medical assistance company and allocate the available capacity of the preselected providers to the medical tourist demand. Thus, it examines the selection of individual service providers and the allocation of capacity based on medical tourist preferences from a business-to-business perspective, namely a supplier selection and order allocation problem. To address this problem, we suggest a two-step process where a fuzzy rule-based inference system is used to evaluate service providers and determine their collaboration scores, and subsequently a fuzzy linear model is employed to select providers and determine the capacity allocation of service requests while maximizing the overall collaboration scores. The applicability of the proposed approach is presented by a quantitative application for dental tourism in Turkey. The suggested approach serves as a guide for scholars as well as for medical tourism practitioners engaged in the process of configuring a medical tourism service network.