Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Foreigners seek health care in ČR, mainly plastic surgery

ČTK |
10 February 2016

Prague, Feb 9 (CTK) - British, German and Russian clients dominate among foreigners seeking treatment at Czech healthcare facilities, mainly plastic surgery, and the number of foreign patients in the Czech Republic has been rising by 10-15 percent yearly, according to the data of the Health Ministry.

Foreign women most often seek breast reconstruction surgery, but the demand for assisted reproduction, operational treatment of obesity (bariatric surgery) and gynaecological treatment is also high, the data from three large Czech clinics show.

Foreigners make up over 90 percent of patients of the plastic surgery ward in the ISCARE clinic and about one-third of patients treated in the Esthe clinic.

The foreigners' interest in the treatment at GynCentrum offering assisted reproduction, gynaecological as well as plastic surgery has been constantly rising.

A Czech plastic surgeon performs 450 operations a year on average, the plastickachirurgie.info portal says.

"The highest share of the clients seeking plastic surgery are women aged from 31 to 50 years," Nada Tobiskova, from the website, said.

Along with top-quality care and the excellent reputation of Czech doctors, foreigners are attracted by the prices that are twice to thrice lower in the Czech Republic than in Western countries.

Breast augmentation, for instance, costs an equivalent of over 200,000 crowns in Germany, while in the Czech Republic, patients pay less than a half of the German price.

Consequently, such a medical trip to the Czech Republic pays foreigners, though they must add in transport and accommodation costs, ISCARE general director Frantisek Lambert told CTK.

Over 90 percent of clients of this clinic are Britons, mostly from London and other cities, such as Birmingham and Manchester, followed by Germans, most often from Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and other large industrial cities.

Esthe is most frequently treating Britons, Germans and Russians.

Within the surgical treatment of obesity, ISCARE offers a new "liposculpturing" method shaping the figure by ultrasound liposuction, using the patients' own fat.

"Last year, we performed 880 such operations, while 95 percent of the patients were foreigners," Lambert said.

A lot of foreigners undergo several treatments in the Czech Republic. There are 1.5 surgeries per foreign patient.

Many foreign couples who suffer from reproduction problems also travel to the Czech Republic, Jaroslav Hulvert, head doctor of the ISCARE assisted reproduction centre, said.

Czech laws enable to use both donated sperms and donated eggs for assisted reproduction, which is not possible in some European countries.

"The Czech Republic, along with Spain, is the most popular destination for the infertility treatment in Europe," Hulvert added.

Besides, foreign women seek gynaecological procedures, for instance, a laser treatment of urinary incontinence, in Czech health care centres, GynCentrum head doctor Petr Picha told CTK. "We estimate that some 4,000 to 5,000 IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) cycles for foreign clients were carried out in the clinics all over the Czech Republic in 2012," said Oliver Nosek, executive of the Eizell-spende IVF company mediating infertility treatment for German clients in the Czech Republic.

"Since then, the market has doubled, and in 2015, it was over 10,000 cycles. In general, the medical tourism market, mainly in the field of plastic surgery and IVF, annually rises by about 20 percent," he added.

Medical tourism is also very profitable for the state. The treatment of foreigners brings more than 0.5 billion crowns to the state budget a year, according to the Health Ministry's data.

Medical tourists stay almost one week longer and they spend twice or thrice more a day than common tourists who visit the Czech Republic for sightseeing only.

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