Goa the land of sun, sand and surgeries

by Samriti Grover ,  NDTV.COM | 2008-09-23

Sun, sea and surgeries - medical tourism has been steadily adding to international tourist arrivals in the holiday state Goa for close to five years now.

Recent trends indicate that the number of foreigners and NRIs looking for a nose job or thinner thighs has almost doubled in the last two years.

"We have all the facilities available. So what we do is give them the best quality which is not even available in the western markets at rock bottom Indian prices. If we give them best quality at Indian prices they just want it," said Dr Vikas Panvelkar, Medical Director, Vrindavan Hospital.

It's a trend doctors from across India are cashing in on who fly down to Goa for various surgical procedures.

Doctors say it's a very lucrative business with international exchange rates working in their favour.

For instance, if a nose job in the US costs up to Rs 4 and a half lakh, it costs a little less than Rs 2 lakh in Goa.

Similarly, liposuction costs between Rs 4 lakh and 12 lakh in the US but you have to shell out just over a lakh in Goa.

And with cosmetic surgery topping the procedures, it's easy to combine fun with a cosmetic touch-up.

"Last tourist season starting from October to April, we have done about 100 cases of different types of cosmetic surgeries. Majority of these were tourists," said Dr Vikas Panvelkar.

Doctors and patients say that apart from the cost of surgery, medical facilities are excellent in Goa - a state that's gifting another USP to tourist operators.

The doctors are now planning to give added services to their patients which include airport pick ups and even arranging for hotel stays perhaps taking medical tourism to a more tourist friendly level.

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