Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Seeking good health and beauty care in the Lion State

A rumor is circling that well-known singer Syahrini had plastic surgery to enhance her appearance for the stage. A source revealed that the singer of “Aku Tak Biasa” (I’m not used to it) spent millions of rupiah having surgery on various parts of her body, including the nose and buttocks.

The fact that many Indonesian celebrities have undergone plastic surgery is not unusual. Titi DJ, Becky Tumewu and Ruth Sahanaya have all admitted to having procedures, including tummy tucks and breast enhancements. Krisdayanti, another renowned singer, has also openly acknowledged having plastic surgery in Singapore.

Plastic surgery is no longer taboo for celebrities, especially for esthetic reasons. Singapore is the most frequently mentioned destination for such procedures. Indeed, the city-state, besides being a shopper’s haven, is widely known as a health tour destination. Many government officials and wealthy people from many countries visit Singapore for this purpose.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has even crowned Singapore for the quality of its healthcare in Asia and ranked it No. 6 in the world. The 707.1-square-kilometer city is widely known for its excellent hospitals and expert doctors and it has lots of international standard hospitals to serve patients from a large number of countries.

Patients not only from neighboring countries — still developing ones — travel to Singapore for treatment but those from highly developed countries also visit the country for its extensive medical services. This was previously quite unimaginable.

This is because high-tech medical equipment and professional doctors are no longer the monopoly of highly developed countries where the cost can be prohibitive. So Singapore provides quality services at a lower cost than say the United States. This has drawn a large number of patients to Singapore.

In view of the potential, it is unsurprising that Singapore strives to maintain the quality of its services. As a matter of fact, Singapore’s medical and healthcare facilities have been acknowledged as the best in Southeast Asia. In addition, both the Singapore government and private hospitals keep enhancing their service by making further breakthroughs through intensive research.

Singapore’s quality medical and health services, offered at an affordable price, lure a huge number of patients annually from many countries, especially Asian countries, including Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Malaysia should not be underestimated either as it has earned a huge amount of foreign exchange from medical services extended to patients from a number of countries. This sector has made a profitable contribution to Malaysia’s economy.

The Malaysia Hospitals Association estimates that the sector contributed as much as Rp 1.78 trillion in 2010 from about 625,000 foreign patients.  Frost & Sullivan’s Indonesian country director, Eugene van de Weerd, says that medical tourism has made a significant contribution to the economy of several Asian countries and has become an important component for the planning and development of their health and medical services.

According to a press release by Van de Weerd, the market value of medical tourism in Asia, especially Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and India, reached US$3 billion from 2007 to 2008 and is set to increase to $4.4 billion by 2012.

However, Singapore is still considered the market leader due to its superior equipment, facilities and services, which are recognized as the best by many patients from other countries. Both its state and private hospitals have the latest and most sophisticated equipment to maintain the highest standard in medical care and services.

The majority of Singapore’s hospitals are regarded as the benchmark of quality health and medical services in the ASEAN region and thus it has built Singapore’s reputation as a leading medical and healthcare center.

Singapore strives to maintain its leading position in this sector, especially in the ASEAN region. Its sophisticated facilities and professional doctors are able to attract international patients for quality medical care at prices that are far more affordable than in their own countries.

Basically, a winning point for Singapore is its leading, high quality and extensive facilities as well as huge number of expert doctors and medical workers that are highly competent in their specialized fields, including having the latest diagnostic facilities.

This is one of the reasons renowned singer Krisdayanti had no qualms about having a number of cosmetic procedures in the Lion State. She said she was selective when choosing a doctor for her operations, but she did not fret about the cost of looking better.  “It sounded costly at first impression, but what’s important is that it was successful, satisfactory and accounted for in my case,” she commented.

Krisdayanti, who is widely known as KD, released a biography a few years ago written by Alberthiene Endah titled Catatan Hati Krisdayanti: (Krisdayanti’s Heart Notes:) My Life, My Secret, in which she revealed she’d had breast surgery in 2004. In addition, Krisdayanti, the younger sister of songstress Yuni Shara, also talked about having a tummy tuck in Singapore in 2008 as well as Botox injections.

Recently, one of Singapore’s leading newspapers reported a significant increase in the number of patients (foreign and local) having undergone or intending to undergo such procedures. Also reported by xinhua.net after cross-checking with nine plastic and esthetic surgeons in Singapore, there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of patients over the past five years. (Burhanuddin Abe)

The Jakarta Post, August 10, 2011


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