South Africa built a strong reputation for itself in performing cutting-edge medical procedures in 1967, when the first heart-transplant was successfully carried out in Cape Town by Dr Christiaan Barnard. Since then, South Africa continues to make a name for itself worldwide in the field of medical research. Advances in medical technology and research have drawn in many medical tourists to the country. Cosmetic surgeries, dental treatments, fertility treatments and rehabilitation are just some of the procedures that are commonly sought out by medical tourists visiting South Africa.
South Africa's wealth of travel destinations and quality healthcare has equally contributed to its powerful medical tourism industry. While the healthcare system in South Africa is yet to level up to international standards, it is serving as a means in providing medical care to residents of neighboring countries. In fact, citizens of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland account for 80 percent of the medical tourism inflow in South Africa.Key Strengths of South Africa for medical tourism
- Easy access to healthcare
- World-renowned for its cosmetic surgeries
- Well-rounded health tourism packages
- Locals and staff are familiar with western culture and speak fluent English
- Government undertakes initiatives to improve healthcare infrastructure for medical touristsWhy should you consider South Africa for your healthcare needs?
1. World class for its cosmetic surgeries
A major portion of tourists who visit South Africa come in for its cosmetic surgeries. South Africa is known around the world for its strong stance in the cosmetic surgery space. It is a home to many licensed plastic surgeons who are competent in the field. The credibility of plastic surgeons and the affordability of procedures have made South Africa a hotspot for plastic surgeries. Cosmetic surgery packages are well-rounded offering consultation, surgery, a personal assistant and a physical therapist to assist patients post-op while they recover.
2. Archetypal destination for medical tourism
South Africa has been viewed as an archetypal health tourism destination by patients worldwide due to its medical tourism offerings that neatly tie together all the essentials of medical care and travel. Many patients fly in to South Africa to undergo elective medical procedures knowing that they can visit its numerous tourist attractions later. Visitors enjoy the benefit of indulging in relaxing spa treatments and touring safari parks as a part of the South African medical tourism package. Wine tours in Stellenbosch, Safaris in Kruger National Park, and sightseeing in Capetown, are just some of the myriad activities South Africa has to offer to medical tourists as they recuperate.
3. Low waiting period
Many patients in the US and Europe often have to go through long waiting periods before being treated at medical facilities. These patients fly down to South Africa due to its quick response in medical care. While patients may have to otherwise wait for weeks or months before they receive medical care in their home countries, they receive timely diagnosis and treatment in South Africa, making it a worthy choice.
4. Affordable medical care
One of South Africa's strong points has been its ability to offer first-class healthcare services at affordable prices. The prices of some medical procedures in South Africa are just a fraction of their costs in the US or the UK. For instance, facelifts cost around $13,953 in UK, while they go around $5,500 in South Africa. Heart-valve replacement and hip replacement surgeries in South Africa can cost about one-tenth to one-third their costs in Western European countries or the US. The affordability of medical care has been one of the strongest points of the South African medical tourism industry.
More information about healthcare and medical tourism in South Africa
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