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Bali Looks to Become a Hub of Medical Tourism in South-East Asia

August 12, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

As medical tourism continues to transform South East Asia, developers in Bali are looking to add the ‘Island of the Gods’ to the list of go-to destinations for medical travel.  

Bali has a long-standing reputation as a world-class wellness destination. Australian holidaymakers flock here en masse for the quintessential beach holiday experience, peppered with therapeutic massages, seaside yoga and fresh, healthy cuisine. And if current trends are any indication, cosmetic surgery procedures could soon become a mainstay of holidays in Bali.

Medical tourism has become the industry to watch in the 21st century – especially in South-East Asia. A report issued by RNCOS has previously predicted a compounded annual growth rate of 22 per cent for Asia’s medical tourism market leading up to 2018. Thailand is leading the pack in terms of market share, with strong showings from Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia. However, these countries by no means have a lock on the industry. And if healthcare providers in Bali play their cards right, the Island of the Gods could soon become a go-to destination for elective procedures such as cosmetic surgery.

More tourists are visiting Indonesia than ever before. In 2016, the country saw more than 11.5 million international arrivals, an increase of almost 13 per cent from the previous year and 22 per cent from 2014. The majority of these international visitors fly directly to Bali.

With billions of dollars in medical tourism revenue up for grab in the region, it makes sense for local clinics and healthcare providers to develop ways to capitalise on these trends.

New Healthcare Infrastructure Already Underway in Bali

Major investment in Bali’s healthcare sector is already underway. One of the most talked-about projects is the recently opened Bali Mandara Hospital. Located in Sanur on the south-east side of the island, this hospital received AU$19 million from the provincial annual budget for its construction, with another AU$19 million invested in its facilities. The hospital is also receiving Australian support from Royal Darwin Hospital, which is offering consultancy services to help Bali Manura Hospital reach international standards.

The hospital is equipped to accommodate 176 inpatients. It features an integrated cancer treatment centre and even a therapy centre for pensioners to cater to the growing number of senior citizens visiting the region for medical purposes.

And it’s not just grand-scale hospitals catering to an influx of medical tourists. Bali is already home to several world-class clinics offering plastic surgery in Bali. Rhinoplasty, facelifts, breast augmentation and more are all regularly featured elective procedures at Manika Aesthetic Clinic, BIMC Hospital Nusa and Rejuvie Aesthetic and Anti-Aging clinic, to name a few prominent service providers.

Taking Healthcare to Luxurious New Heights

Bali has already staked its claim as a luxury holiday destination. Five-star resorts, decadent spa treatments and Michelin-starred dining are all a matter of course here. It only makes sense for the local hospitals and clinics to take a luxury approach to healthcare.

In fact, that’s precisely what draws many international patients to Bali. Many of the clinics and opening in Bali look and feel more like a spa than a hospital.

Australians are finding that they can schedule plastic surgery in Bali for pennies on the dollar compared to what they would pay at home – even after factoring in the cost of airfare. At the same time, the level of service they receive is vastly superior to what they could expect from an Australian clinic.

Inpatient recovery facilities have all the trappings of a five-star resort room. And even for outpatient procedures, it’s difficult to imagine a more inviting place to recover than on a tranquil beach at one of the world’s most sought-after holiday destinations.

Paul McTaggart, CEO of Medical Departures, says this is a major draw card for patients from Australia and New Zealand. “Our clients incorporate cosmetic surgery procedures into a Bali holiday,” he said. “They often schedule their operation early in the holiday, so that by the time they return home, they’re refreshed, fully recovered and ready to show off their new look.”

As plastic surgery in Bali becomes more popular, tourists from Australia and New Zealand are more likely to visit the Island of the Gods in order to get that new look they’ve always dreamed of having. This certainly puts a whole new spin on getting a beach body for an upcoming holiday.

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