Sunday, February 22, 2009

A trip to beautify oneself

NURLITA no longer feels comfortable with her looks. At 36, she is worried by the wrinkles appearing on her face and around her eyes. "Tell me, what woman doesn't want to look beautiful? Now, maybe only cosmetic surgery can help me solve the problem," said Nurlita, who is the marketing manager of a garment company.

Today, many things can be done to improve one's looks, from a facelift to botox and various other procedures that make one's face younger with a short recovery time. The cost is also affordable to many. Facelifts and other such surgeries are not only done domestically, but also abroad, which means that one can go on a tour and have one's face done at the same time.

Some Bangkok hospitals and beauty clinics already advertise here. They provide a wide range of services, such as tightening the facial skin, hair removal, face mark reduction, breast implants, tummy tucks and even sex changes.

Going abroad for a tour and cosmetic surgery is becoming popular, with Thailand being one of the most popular destinations for medical tours. Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Group and Bumrungrad Hospital, both located in Bangkok, are just two examples of the Thai hospitals that attract foreign tourists wanting cosmetic procedures. Every year, more than 364,000 patients from 150 countries go to Thailand on medical tours.

Singapore is probably the best prepared Asia Pacific country to tackle medical tours. What makes Singapore one of the leading medical centers in the world is its state-of-the-art facilities, professional doctors and sophisticated diagnostic equipment. Besides its world-class facilities, Singapore's clean environment also lends patients a sense of well-being that encourages a speedy recovery.

AsiaMedic Limited in Singapore is just one example of a leading one-stop healthcare provider that serves both local and foreign patients. It focuses on early prevention and detection of various diseases through sophisticated technology in its wide-ranging specialized clinics, such as AsiaMedic PET/CT Centre, Aesthetic Medical Centre, AsiaMedic Eye Centre, Orchard Imaging Centre and Wellness Assessment Centre.

Meanwhile, Excellence Healthcare is a multi-discipline American-style clinic that offers various medical services, such as general checkup, cardiology, oncology, Lasik and presbyopia surgery, aesthetic and plastic surgery, dental care and orthodontics, and obstetrics and gynecology.

Other medical centers in Singapore include eMenders Medical Specialist Group, Island Orthopaedi-c Group, Pacific Healthcare, Specialist Dental Group (Henry Lee Dental Surgery), Surgeons International Holdings Pte Ltd, The Lasik Surgery Clinic, and many more. In 2000, the World Health O-rganization (WHO) ranked Singapore's healthcare system No. 6 in the world. Apart from this recognition, 13 of Singapore's hospitals and health centers have been accredited by the International Joint Commission.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has also emerged as a destination for medical tourism. One of its targets is Indonesian patients for both health and beauty services. So, don't be surprised to see advertisements in local media promoting cosmetic procedures in, say, Penang, Malaysia.

The surgeries offered include liposuction, blepharoplasty (double eyelid surgery), nose implants, breast enlargement, facelifts, etc. The hospitals provide not only medical services but also accommodation at a four- or five-star hotel, airport transfer and local transportation for shopping and sightseeing.

The attention paid to this sector has made Malaysia the world's third most popular destination for medical tourism, both for foreign patients and investors. Data from Nuwire Investors Online on Malaysia's real estate and investment opportunities mentions that what attracts foreign investors to Malaysia are its quality products, facilities and services as well as the skills and competency in providing sophisticated medical services.

Statistics taken from reveal that the country has a comprehensive network of hospitals, clinics and doctors, with 88.5 percent of the population living within three kilometers of a medical center or private doctor.

Along with its ongoing heavy promotion on medical tourism, Malaysia has selected 35 private hospitals to support the country's campaign for Malaysia as an attractive and appropriate destination.

Malaysia's medical tourism has increased significantly over the past several years. In 2006, the country's hospitals served 296,687 foreign patients, who brought in an income of about US$59 million (about Rp 542.8 billion).

The Malaysian Hospital Association projects the number of foreign patients will grow at an average rate of 30 percent per year until 2010. Malaysia not only offers cosmetic surgery but also a wide range of other medical services and procedures, including dental and heart operations that cost less than those in developed countries, like the US, for instance.

It is therefore no surprise that Malaysia is among the world's top five medical tourism destinations, namely Panama, Brazil, Malaysia, Costa Rica and India, respectively. So it could be said that Nurlita is making the right choice with her plan to travel to Penang in June. "I am taking leave then, and am sure I'll come back not only fresh but also beautiful," she said. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, February 22, 2009

1 comment:

  1. Great job putting this together! I recently ran into The Patients Advantage when looking for Lasik surgeons. It's a great way to find the best surgeons and it is completely free. Check them out (