Australia could be in the top ten medical travel destinations yet it is losing hundreds of millions of dollars each year to countries such as Germany, India and Thailand where the global medical tourism industry is highly marketed.
According to a report from 2011, cosmetic surgery is a field that Australia could excel in, yet their own are choosing cosmetic surgery vacations in Thailand or Malaysia. The agents who organize these tours have been thriving in this area while the health sector has not.
The agencies book surgeons for clients and organize everything from flights and accommodation to shopping and sightseeing trips.
Associate Professor Rodney Cooter, who is also the president of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, says there are risks involved with travelling overseas for surgery, because careful monitoring is necessary, sometimes even for a year and a half with some patients and he advises to stay at within the borders as the safest option.
Of course that the Australian surgeons are not happy with the trend of cosmetic surgery tourism and that many of them try to scare off campaigns to promote this trend, says University of Technology, Sydney ethnographer Dr Meredith Jones.
Jones also said that she strongly suspects the possibility of cosmetic surgery ‘gone wrong’ is as likely whether people have it in Sydney or in Bangkok.