In the process of shrugging off its reputation for cheap back-alley plastic surgeries, Thailand is quickly catching up to South Korea as the world’s prime destination for cosmetic surgeries and treatments. Home to 64 JCI-accredited medical facilities – three times more than Singapore and 6 times more than Malaysia.
JCI is the industry standard in global healthcare, where facilities are benchmarked against US standards and practices.
In an industry of massively over-inflated figures, it’s difficult to really gauge the size of the Global Medical Tourism market or even the Thai market. According to the TAT, a whopping 9% of Thailand’s 35 million annual visitors are ‘Medical Tourists’, but it’s believed this figure doesn’t account for tourists who happen to visit a medical facility during their stay and it doesn’t disregard multiple visits or expats.
A more honest assessment by the International Medical Travel Journal suggests the global market is worth around $13 billion, with Thailand being the joint third biggest beneficiary, taking $600 million in revenue each year.
The top 25 medical travel destinations by value:
SOURCE: International Medical Travel Journal
But what is Medical Tourism and why is Thailand so popular? A loose definition of a Medical Tourist would be someone who travels to another country with the primary purpose of undertaking some form of medical, cosmetic or dental procedure. Common procedure types, include plastic surgery, dental procedures, tertiary medical care and fertility procedures.
It’s estimated that Thailand receives 350,000 dedicated Medical Tourists each year, spending an average of $1,700 in hospitals and clinics across the country, with Bangkok seeing the majority of this money. South Korea still leads the way, but for how much longer?
Darren Lyons of MyMediTravel, a Singapore based Medical Tourism information and referrals platform (best comparison being the ‘Booking.com’ of global Medical Tourism), states that half of their requests are for cosmetic procedures in Thailand. Darren explains:
“We work with hospitals and clinics in 43 countries across the world and yet 48% of all enquiries are for Thai facilities, with the vast majority of these being cosmetic procedures. Breast Augmentation procedures in Thailand are by far the most common, but other more ‘modern’ procedures are on the rise, for example CoolSculpting, the Brazilian Butt Lift and the Labiaplasty.”
We asked Darren why he thinks Thailand is such a popular choice for Medical Tourists:
“Reputation. Thailand invested so heavily over the last 20 years, it’s now reaping the benefits of having 60-plus gold standard facilities and hundreds of smaller but well-established clinics. And a huge amount of the surgeons are internationally trained with many years of experience.
“Gone are the days of everyone sniggering at Thailand for its botched plastic surgeries. Of course, there’ll always be ill-informed people who still say this, but with so much information and first-hand accounts and reviews available online, such ignorance is being disregarded now.
“And cost is an important factor. Outside of the major hospitals, Thailand is so competitive, not just in the region, but globally.
“Other more affordable hospitals are quickly gaining ground, for example Sikarin Hospital and Bangpakok9 International Hospital. Smaller, more niche clinics like KTOP Clinic are gaining a reputation for the ‘Korean Style’ facial plastic surgeries, attracting patients who’d previously only ever considered South Korea as a viable destination.
“Finally, no waiting times. Prospective patients will say ‘I want my procedure done on this day’, and nine times out of ten, that’s when it’s booked in for. Failing that, it’ll be the following day.”
Darren went on to explain how emerging nations like Thailand were able to undercut hospitals in Western / developed countries, and it comes down to simple economics. Where the cost to build, run and maintain a multi-disciplinary hospital and pay the staff is much lower, and this huge saving is passed onto the consumer.
Price comparison of some popular procedures:
STORY: Articles.MyMediTravel.comKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Three Thai lottery winners take home 6 million baht each
781403. That’s the magic six numbers you needed for yesterday’s lottery, which would award you with a grand prize of 6 million baht if you had a winning lottery ticket. Three people won, a convenience store owner in Nakhon Ratchasima and married couple from Rayong.
Suwarn Sinthao bought her ticket hoping to win a three-number prize of 4,000 baht but when she realised that she had all 6 numbers she just sat down and cried. Khaosod News went to interview Suwarn the store owner in Nakhon Ratchasima, along with lots of friends, relatives and well-wishers. Suwarn said she purchased the ticket using the numbers on an old car she had seen in a dream.
She says she will be using the money to pay off the family’s debts and the rest to renovate her store and home. She says she’ll also donate some of her winnings.
The other winners were a married couple from Rayong. 43 year old Sompong Raethuan and 32 year old Wimon Molatin filed a report at the Pluak Daeng Police Station after realising they had won 2 first prizes brining their total winnings to 12 million baht. They say they’ve been using the same sequence of numbers for a long time. The couple work at a local factory and the tickets were purchased at a market in the Pluak Daeng District, north-west in the Rayong Province. The say the money will be invested for future plans whilst both will continue to work in the factory.
Congratulations to all the winners. The next government lottery draw will be on March 1.
SOURCES: Khaosod | Thai ResidentsKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Toilet paper vs bum gun – which one is better?
Put down your knife and fork. We’re going to talk about bumguns, arse-blasters and Number 2s.
Let’s take a moment and travel to a western country and sit on the toilet. We do whatever we need to do and then… where’s the water gun? Instead you’re confronted with a roll of toilet paper, patterned or otherwise (why?!) Asian people have been happily washing their nether regions after Number 1s and Number 2s forever. Why hasn’t the West caught on? It’s not as if a westerner hasn’t experienced the joy and wonder of a quick squirt below and been unable to take the idea home.
Now some enterprising scientists have done the research and the bum-gun comes up the winner. An American rectal surgeon in New York, Dr Evan Goldstein, told a squeamish audience at ButtCon (basically Comic-Con, but all about bottoms instead of comics) that a squirt with water is actually a much better way to clean yourself after using the bathroom.
Now it starts getting a bit gross.
Asians already know that using toilet tissue after defecating basically means you will simply smear that faecal matter around, without actually cleaning the area. If you’re eating a low-roughage diet the problem is worse.
Meanwhile, washing with water will thoroughly clean the area of any trace of faeces. A bit of well-aimed water pressure for a few seconds will do a much, much better job than a few metres of toilet paper! Finishing the spray-job with a quick wipe of tissue paper will then leave your backside feeling cleaner and fresher after every poop!
“Besides being a better cleaning agent all-around, only wiping your bum using tissue can actually lead to injuries.”
Dr Evan Goldstein, speaking to Insider, said that the skin on the anus is quite thin and delicate. And dry toilet paper can be abrasive.
“This is why wiping too many times, or any harsh actions, could lead to painful tears, or tears, and even bleeding.”
Some Americans have now taken on the idea of cleaning up with water and agree that using a bidet to wash your backside can be more comfortable than toilet paper. Especially for people who just had surgery, given birth, or experience irritable bowel syndrome. Scientists now also universally agree that a squat toilet is healthier than a sitting on a porcelain throne… but one thing at a time!
The contentious topic, a favourite at ButtCon, now comes down on the side of the wet finish rather than the paper finish.
But not all research on bidets or ‘bum guns’ is positive. A large study of women in Japan in 2010 found that frequent use of bidets could interrupt the normal bacterial flora in the vagina and lead to infection.
So, it’s more hygienic and, well, it feels better (come on, admit it!). But there’s also plenty of other reasons to back the bun-gun. The average American reportedly uses 3 rolls of tissue a week, the whole country goes through about 36.5 billion rolls a year. And how much water goes into making one roll of tissue paper? About 140 litres. The production of that pure white toilet paper uses even more water. Making tissue also involves the pulping of millions of trees, and using tonnes of chlorine.
And then there’s all the energy involved in manufacturing, the packaging and transporting of the rolls of paper to retail outlets. Tissue paper is also known to clog plumbing and force city sewer systems and water treatment plants to work much harder.
So, next time you’re reaching behind and having a quick squirt (please aim carefully), you’ll feel better knowing that your backside is probably happier with the end result.
And a big shout out to all the proctologists out there for doing a job most of us wouldn’t! Have fun at ButtCon.
SOURCE: msn.comKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Police say the ‘Skullbreaker Challenge’ could lead to injury, death and jail terms
Thai Police are warning teenagers against copycat versions of a idiotic and dangerous craze known as the ‘Skullbreaker Challenge’ citing victims ending up with spine and head injuries. And even death. The online fad, gaining notoriety on social media, involves tricking someone into jumping into the air before friends on either side kick the player’s legs out causing them to fall heavily on their back.
Doctors say the online fad, which originated in South America, is potentially “deadly” and could easily harm the skull, brain and neck bones. The Thai Medical Services chief Somsak Akkslip says the Skullbreaker Challenge is life-threatening as the victim’s head can hit the ground, with deadly consequences.
“The consequences could be horrific. The victim’s skull will be broken and nerves will be damaged, with bleeding in the brain.”
Thai police and doctors are fearful Thai kids and teenagers will be inclined to experiment with the fad after the popularity of clips posted on social media. Police remind people who are responsible for causing severe injuries to others, especially when the harm is pre-meditated, will face jail terms of between 2-10 years.
“Specifically, if a victim is seriously injured, his friends can be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and pay a maximum fine of 200,000 baht under the law’s Section 297.”
Police are asking parents and teachers to educate kids about the dangers of the Skullbreaker Challenge and urging them not to imitate the ‘game’ or caving into peer pressure.
This report examining the latest stupid online craze from NBC, Florida…Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
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