Worst Medical Tourism Disasters
Facelift in Singapore
The Botch Job: A woman from Melbourne traveled to Singapore for a discreet and affordable $4,000 facelift, which can cost up to $6,500 in Australia. She returned to her home with various problems, reported the Herald Sun, including a damaged facial nerve that caused the right side of her face to collapse; the left side developed an untreated hematoma due to hair left under the skin. After months of hiding, she spent nearly $10,000 to have her lumpy face repaired by a Melbourne revision plastic surgeon.
The Real Deal: Singapore is one of the biggest medical-tourism markets around and has developed a reputation for heart surgery. Its health-care system is ranked the best in Asia by the World Health Organization (and the sixth best in the world), and the country has about a dozen JCI-accredited facilities. But it has one of the lowest doctor-to-patient ratios among developed countries (about 1:635 as opposed to 1:374 in the U.S.); the country has begun to recruit medical professionals from America and Europe and is opening new med-tourism facilities, like Connexion at Farrer Park, a 20-story “mediplex” slated to open in 2011, which will feature a hospital, private hospital suites, and a full-service hotel for patients and caregivers.