Half a million Australians to seek medical treatment overseas in 2017

Andrew Munro 16 March 2017

shutterstock cosmetic surgery 738x410

Western Australians are the most likely to head overseas for surgery.

Thinking about heading overseas for surgery? You're not alone. Roughly 500,000 Australians plan on heading abroad for medical procedures in 2017 and for 3% of us, it won't be for the first time.

Business is booming with Australians spending an estimated $300 million on overseas cosmetic procedures. A recent survey found that a whopping 41% of people said they would be interested in travelling for surgery or another medical treatment if they couldn’t get it done in Australia.

Western Australians are the most open to heading overseas for surgery, with 63% saying they’d consider it. South Australians are the most wary, with only 35% expressing an interest. Around half of Queenslanders are open to the idea, about on par with the overall interest around Australia.

Western Australians (5%) are also most likely to have already travelled overseas for surgery. Victorians are a close second at 4%.

Wait times and the cost of surgery in Australia seem to be driving this trend. The average cost of breast augmentation surgery in Australia is $12,000, compared with only $4,000 in Thailand.

However, complications seem to be an issue, with almost one in five patients experiencing complications from their surgeries overseas.

It's worth noting that many cosmetic procedures require follow-ups. As such, some forms of medical tourism travel insurance, such as Go Dental cover, add return travel and accommodation cover, in the event that you need to go back later on for a follow-up appointment. The growing popularity of cosmetic procedures in Australia is likely to be mirrored by a corresponding growth in the number of people heading overseas for surgery. With flights getting cheaper and medical procedures getting safer, it’s no surprise that people are comparing travel insurance as well as health insurance to cover their procedures.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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