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Residents object to promotion of sex surgery

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Residents object to promotion of sex surgery | Thaiger

PHUKET (AFP): Residents of Phuket have reportedly objected to plans to promote bargain-priced sex-change surgery as a means of attracting more tourists to the island. The campaign risked harming the reputation of the southern resort, known for its white-sand beaches, reefs, nightlife and restaurants, they told the Thai-language daily ‘Khao Sod’. “I disagree with the idea of promoting tourism by advertising sex-change surgery,” said golf club manager Wiroon Boonkaeo. “Thailand is a Buddhist country, and thinking only of money without regard for morals or Thai culture is unacceptable,” he said. Phiboon Saengwanloy, a teacher at a provincial school, told the newspaper that: “Sex-change surgery is a private business. As a teacher, I disagree with…this promotion as it may distort the ideas of children, who may opt for this kind of surgery without really needing it,” he said. “Gender reassignment” specialist Boonrueng Chutaisaengrat told the Nation daily last week that authorities should promote Thailand as a safe and affordable place to undergo the surgery. “A large number of foreigners come here to have sex-change operations,” he said. “The waiting line for the operation is very long, with some people having to wait for two years.” Bangkok’s excellent private hospitals have long made it a popular destination for residents of South Asia and the Middle East to undergo non-urgent medical procedures. Puket is the latest destination to make it on the “medical tourism” map, thanks to an aggressive promotion campaign by private hospitals who tout its peaceful surroundings as an ideal place for post-surgical recuperation.

 

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