Medical Tourism Increasing Thanks to Globalisation

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A survey carried out in 2009 by the international aesthetic plastic surgery portal Estheticon.com / Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery.info (http://www.cosmetic-plastic-surgery.info) showed that there was a significant rise in the number of international clients choosing Europe for a variety of plastic surgery procedures. About 25% of all aesthetic plastic surgery procedures carried out in the Czech Republic in 2008/2009 were for international clients. That shows a significant rise from the year before when only 19% of clients were from abroad. According to the clinics, the main reasons for the rise were the economic crisis (people were prepared to travel for cheaper plastic surgery procedures) and the increase in quality of treatment, including complementary services such as accommodation. "The Czech Republic offers patients extremely skilled medical treatment for an extremely low price," says Dr. Bohumil Zálešák, national secretary of ISAPS for the Czech republic.

A survey carried out in 2009 by the international aesthetic plastic surgery portal Estheticon.com / Cosmetic-Plastic-Surgery.info (http://www.cosmetic-plastic-surgery.info) showed that there was a significant rise in the number of international clients choosing Europe for a variety of plastic surgery procedures. About 25% of all aesthetic plastic surgery procedures carried out in the Czech Republic in 2008/2009 were for international clients. That shows a significant rise from the year before when only 19% of clients were from abroad. According to the clinics, the main reasons for the rise were the economic crisis (people were prepared to travel for cheaper plastic surgery procedures) and the increase in quality of treatment, including complementary services such as accommodation. "The Czech Republic offers patients extremely skilled medical treatment for an extremely low price," says Dr. Bohumil Zálešák, national secretary of ISAPS for the Czech republic.

"Many aesthetic plastic surgery clinics have put great emphasis on their overall presentation together with quality, professionalism and range of services so there is no difference from reputable clinics in Western Europe,“ says Pavel Hilbert, managing partner of Estheticon.com (http://www.cosmetic-plastic-surgery.info). "Good plastic surgery alone is not enough nowadays. Clients expect excellent overall quality including consultations, professional staff, pleasant surroundings and various complementary services,“ he concludes.

The number of foreign clients differs amongst clinics. About 38% of all clinics report that international clients make up not more than 5% of their overall client number. In contrast, around 26% of plastic surgery clinics (especially the bigger ones) report that international clients can rise to 30% to 50% of their total clientele.

Most of the international clients for Czech plastic surgery clinics come from Germany, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia and the United States. A survey among doctors and clinics showed 92% of them stated that Germany is one of the top four countries for international clients, while 63% of doctors say that Great Britain is in the top four. Other countries mentioned ranked in the following order: Austria (one of the top four countries for 24% of doctors), Switzerland (20%), Slovakia (15%) and United States (11%).

International clients also come from other countries such as Italy, Canada, Ireland or Russia. The issue of medical tourism and patient safety has been discussed at the ISAPS conference. "Medical tourism is a fact that we can never change. As globalisation continues, so medical tourism will increase because of very low prices in specific countries,“ says Pavel Hilbert.

When considering patient safety there are a few general recommendations that patients should be aware of when choosing a clinic or doctor:

  •     Aesthetic plastic surgery qualifications
  •     Membership in national plastic surgery society, national aesthetic surgery society, ISAPS and other relevant societies
  •     Years of experience, number of treatments performed
  •     Rapport with and confidence in the doctor
  •     Time to reflect on the procedure after intitial consultation (14 days is recommended)

At the other end of the spectrum, there are also clients who are not keen on the idea of travelling to another country and do not care about cheaper prices. In the case of Germany, which ranked top among countries where clients do travel for operations, a survey conducted by Estheticon.com showed that 44% of visitors would definitely not travel to another country to have surgery.

About Estheticon.com

Estheticon.com is a Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Medicine Portal. All information is connected into a navigation matrix via treatments and surgeons/clinics. Patients can find information about surgeons and clinics, treatments, articles, forums, before/after photos, prices, videos, patient stories, destinations and more. Surgeons and clinics can get clients, traffic and publicity. Its 13 language versions have more than 1000 participating surgeons and nearly 900 000 visits per month.

If you are interested in more information, contact:
Ing. Pavel Hilbert
Phone: +420.777.591.118
pavel.hilbert (at) estheticon.com
http://www.estheticon.com

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Jan Faltysek
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