If you've been considering cosmetic surgery but couldn't afford it, you can benefit from the current trend of medical travel. More and more people from all over the world are traveling to other countries to get medical, dental, and surgical services from hospitals and other health destinations. Many patients wanting to get cosmetic plastic surgery prefer going “on vacation”, remaining anonymous and returning home looking refreshed and younger without anyone knowing they had surgery. For those with limited vacation time, medical travel provides an ideal opportunity to avail of medical services and have a vacation at the same time.
A significant number of foreigners are choosing to undergo their cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in countries like Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Cuba, Israel, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand and the Philippines. Many patients considering going abroad for their medical procedures often wonder which country to choose. What are some of the advantages of choosing the Philippines as a destination for patients planning to have cosmetic surgery?
The primary advantage in medical tourism is cost. You can save a lot of money when you choose to have cosmetic surgery done in the Philippines. Because of the favorable exchange rate (as of March 2007, it is $1= P49), both local and foreign patients who otherwise couldn't afford cosmetic surgery can benefit from the lower overhead costs and professional fees. Surgeon’s fees, anesthesiologist's fees, and facility costs are much lower. Thus, procedures can be performed at a fraction of the amount you would spend on the same procedure in the US or Europe. Cost savings are significant for cosmetic surgery procedures. For example, the average cost for liposuction (one area) in the United States is $2500-4500. In the Philippines, the procedure can cost only $800 for the first area and $500 for succeeding areas. For breast augmentation, the average cost in the United States is $6,000-8,000, while in the Philippines, the procedure can cost as little as $2,500 to $4,600. (For more about costs of cosmetic surgery procedures in the Philippines, visit Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Philippines.)
Aside from the favorable exchange rate, cosmetic surgery is also much more affordable in the Philippines than in the United States because overhead costs in the U.S. are very high because of health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and medical malpractice insurance policies that are very expensive. It is not uncommon for U.S. patients to sue their doctors and hospitals. Thus, even if a patient’s surgery goes well, with no complications, the patient still have to pay high fees to cover these overhead costs. As a medical tourist in the Philippines, you don't have to pay for malpractice insurance costs, legal fees, and settlements. Your money actually goes to the plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists and other health workers who are treating you.
If you are considering medical travel, you may ask, “What if the surgery doesn't go well?” In reality, things can go wrong in surgical procedures, whether or not your surgeon has medical insurance. Malpractice insurance at the time of your surgery doesn't affect your outcome. In the Philippines, plastic surgeons know that their reputation is at stake. They know that they must give you quality service and results. Otherwise, word will spread and other patients won't come to them. This is the incentive they have to keep offering high standards and quality results.
2. Qualified Plastic Surgeons
Although cost savings are significant when you choose to come to the Philippines for cosmetic surgery, cost shouldn't be the only factor to consider, since it can cost more to remedy poor results done by unqualified cosmetic surgery providers. Lower cost doesn’t mean sacrificing quality of care. Whether you are having cosmetic surgery done abroad or in your home country, choosing the right doctor is the single most important decision you will make. Choosing the right surgeon will ensure the quality of care you will receive.
Another advantage that the Philippines offers to medical tourists is that in the Philippines, there are qualified, well-trained and highly skilled plastic surgeons who have had formal training in plastic and reconstructive surgery and have studied in some of Asia's best medical schools. Philippine medical and nursing curricula are more difficult than many in Southeast Asia. Some Filipino plastic surgeons have acquired their postgraduate or fellowship training from well-known institutions in the U.S. and other developed countries and have been mentored by leading American plastic surgeons. To enhance their expertise, they regularly attend various seminars and conferences worldwide, where new techniques in plastic and cosmetic surgery are introduced. Thus, they can provide equal or greater quality surgical care than U.S. hospitals at a fraction of the price.
However, patients should be aware that the greater acceptance and growth of cosmetic surgery among the general public has encouraged many Filipino doctors to perform cosmetic surgery, but not all of them have trained as plastic surgeons. Once doctors get their medical degrees, they may practice any specialty, even if they have not completed advanced training in the field they have chosen. And so, a doctor who performs cosmetic plastic surgery is not necessarily trained as a plastic surgeon. Thus, it is essential for patients to choose a qualified plastic surgeon with the training and experience that is essential for the success of the surgery. It is recommended that the patient choose a plastic surgeon who is duly certified by the Philippine Board of Plastic Surgery, the only board recognized by the Philippine College of Surgeons to certify plastic surgeons in the Philippines. For more about evaluating cosmetic surgeon credentials, visit Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Philippines.
3. World-class Facilities
The Philippines has numerous facilities that offer professional medical expertise and state-of-the-art, world class technology. With the commitment to excellent patient care and a comprehensive range of diagnostic and therapeutic services available, medical tourists can be assured of world-class healthcare comparable to the best in the world.
4. The Caring and Compassionate Nature of the Filipinos
Besides competence, Filipino doctors and nurses are also well known for their caring and compassionate nature. Filipinos have a natural and unique nature which makes them excel in service industries such as healthcare. The Philippines has been exporting doctors and nurses to the U.S. for 50 years now and many U.S. and European hospitals are staffed by Filipino nurses and doctors.
5. English is widely spoken in the Philippines
It is often said that the Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. This greater fluency in English is an important advantage for a service industry such healthcare and it is an essential for cosmetic surgery. Good communication between a plastic surgeon and his patient is very important especially for the consultation period. Patients should be able to ask questions and discuss needs and expectations to make an informed judgement about the procedures they are considering. Furthermore, most Filipinos speak English and can communicate with foreigners, helping to make the recuperation easier and the vacation period more enjoyable.
6. Hospitality of the Filipinos
The Filipinos are well known for their exceptional hospitality and friendliness. With an ever ready smile on their faces, they are always willing to offer help and advice. Visitors are always welcome and held in high esteem. Filipinos love entertaining foreign visitors. It is said that there is no country in Southeast Asia where foreigners are so well accepted as in the Philippines. It is not uncommon for them to rate foreigners over themselves and give them special treatment.
7. Beauty standards
The Philippines is well known for beautiful women. The blending of various races, Asian, Mexican, Spanish, and American makes for a combination which enables many Filipinas to win in various international beauty contests. This environment develops the Filipino cosmetic plastic surgeon’s eye for beauty and refines the standards of beauty which he applies in the artistry of cosmetic surgery.
8. Beautiful country
The Philippines is a beautiful country which offers a variety of attractions for tourists, most popular of which are its beautiful beaches. Cebu, Palawan, Albay, Camiguin, Bohol and Boracay offer scenic panoramas which delight visitors from all over the world. There are also heritage and cultural sites such as Vigan in Ilocos; the Banawe Rice Terraces, Fort Santiago and Intramuros.
There are many great and affordable shopping opportunities that tourists can enjoy. Makati, Ortigas, Greenhills, Cubao, and Libis are just some of these. For the more adventurous shopper, Divisoria offers great bargains.
The Philippines offers many advantages to the medical tourist considering cosmetic plastic surgery. The lower costs, qualified plastic surgeons, excellent facilities, Filipino hospitality, caring nature of the Filipinos, ease of communication and beautiful beaches are just some of these. When foreign patients choose to have their elective cosmetic surgeries done by qualified plastic surgeons in Philippines, they get exceptional value for the latest techniques in cosmetic plastic surgery. They combine having a vacation in a beautiful tropical country with affordable, quality elective plastic surgery.
For more information about cosmetic plastic surgery procedures and prices, visit Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Philippines.