KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 – Penang is gaining a reputation as a global destination for plastic surgery.
The Star reported that health tourists from around the world travel to the island state to get their cosmetic procedures done.
“We have the latest up-to-date surgical equipment and technology that are on par with countries like Korea and Japan, which are known to be go-to countries for plastic surgery,” a plastic surgeon, Dr Lee, was quoted saying.
“Most of our procedures are also on par in terms of material, equipment and implants. Yet, we are cheaper by a significant amount.”
According to him, the most popular surgeries were eyelid surgery, facelifts, rhinoplasty, breast implants, tummy tucks, liposuction, laser treatments and other injectable fillers; and are performed from clients mainly from Indonesia.
He added that he also received Singaporean patients who would travel to Penang for plastic surgery as it was much cheaper.
“The surgeries here range from RM5,000 to RM50,000, and if they are carried out together, they only come up to S$16,000, which is much cheaper for Singaporeans.”
Dr Lee also said his Indonesian patients felt at home in Penang due to the language and food.
Out of 60 patients he got in a week, he added that an average of 20 per cent to 30 per cent of them were foreigners, including Caucasians.
Another doctor reported supported this, saying that other foreigners like Europeans, especially those from the United Kingdom, would usually opt for nasal reduction and facelifts, as the price is much cheaper in Penang.
“Many tourists seek good and quality services through cosmetic surgery overseas, and this makes Penang an attractive option. This is due to the high cost of the procedures in Western countries compared to Penang,” said Penang tourism development, arts, culture and heritage committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin.
“Additionally, language is not a problem here for Westerners as many doctors here speak English fluently. We also offer reliable services as many professionals here were trained overseas.”
The state, which generates up to 50 per cent of the country’s medical tourism income, has been recently named the “top medical tourism destination in Malaysia” in a recent article by The International Medical Travel Journal.
According to the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), Penang’s health care industry alone generated some RM500 million in revenue in 2017.