Medical tourism from China increases cosmetic surgery compensation claims. Would you fly from Swindon all the way to China to save money on your facelift? We think not! Apparently China is fast becoming a top destination for medical tourism. In case you've never heard of it this is where you go abroad for medical treatment in order to benefit from substantial savings whilst potentially having a holiday into the bargain.
If you are going to have a painful procedure it's probably more a case of recovering in a warm and pleasant climate rather than a holiday but are the savings real and is it worth the effort?
I understand people from the UK considering European destinations but China seems a bit farfetched. So I did some research and it seems that indeed some Brits are jumping on a long haul flight to China for all sorts of cosmetic surgery but they are the minoroty. If you do decide to take the risky option of surgery in China keep in mind that it will probably be very difficult to make a claim for cosmetic surgery compensation if things go wrong.
In general what I found was the opposite. In fact it's people from China who are going abroad in search of better medical care. With an improvement in the living standards of the average Chinese citizen, medical tourism has seen a rapid increase and continues to grow. Destinations like South Korea and Singapore are becoming popular. But there are many horror stories with surgery going wrong as there is no process in place for quality assurance.
China has almost 1.2 million wealthy citizens and when surveyed more than half would consider going abroad for treatment. They generally rely on agents to set up appointments with recommended hospitals. The agents charge a commission of as much as $8,000.
As the most popular destination for cosmetic surgery South Korea is visited by more than 200,000 Chinese each year. This represents about fifty percent of all medical tourists to the country. Rhinoplasty and double-eyelid surgery are among the most popular reasons to travel for cosmetic improvements.
However, when it comes to becoming a parent many Chinese prefer to visit America hoping to give birth there as this circumvents the Chinese one child per family rule. So IVF treatment is popular for Chinese visitors to the US. When you consider that Shanghai has five IVF specialist clinics there must be another reason for going abroad.
Often patients who are worried about the quality of Chinese healthcare opt for the US or Switzerland for IVF. But for cosmetic surgery it's typically South Korea and for cancer treatment many prefer Japan. Another reason for going abroad for treatment is to bypass China's long waiting times.
But regardless of the reason for travelling so far to find the right doctor or surgeon things can and do go wrong. With cosmetic surgery any mistakes can lead to a cosmetic surgery negligence claim or compensation complaint from the person after the procedure. These can be difficult to prove so its essential to keep a very detailed record of what was promised so you can compare the result to the expectations of surgery.