Healthcare Destination

South Africa has long been a world leader in medicine. In 1967 Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the world's first successful human-to-human heart transplant, and catapulted South Africa onto the medical stage of the world. Since then the country has remained at the forefront of medical innovation and today can boast of significant achievements such as the successful separation of Siamese twins, and the first African-developed HIV vaccine to go to trial in a developed country.

South Africa is one of many destinations for medical tourists because of its world-class standards of medical care, highly trained plastic or cosmetic surgeons and of course the undeniably diverse tourist attractions.

Hospitals and clinics in South Africa are vying to attract more international patients from around the world. With many private, world-class medical institutions, highly skilled doctors, serene vacation settings and somewhat close proximity to Western Europe (in the same timezone); the country has been attracting foreign patients for numerous procedures in all health specialties and in particular for a variety of cosmetic and dental procedures. Although the cost of medical treatment maybe not as price competitive as many of the other popular medical travel destinations, the quality of treatment is world-class and available tourists attractions are astounding.

South Africa has a long legacy of medical innovation and world-class healthcare in leading edge medical technologies, expertise and value-for-money attracting foreign clients for a myriad of cosmetic, corrective or dental procedures. South Africa also has a well developed public and private hospital system and South African medical schools have produced professionals whose qualifications are recognized worldwide. Medical tourism has rapidly emerged in South Africa whereby patients from foreign countries come there to access high-quality healthcare. The patient is literally outsourced to South Africa for medical treatment and medical services are often obtained at more affordable prices than they could be accessed in their own country.

South Africa offers modern private cosmetic surgery clinics with access to the latest technology and treatments for medical tourists. Cosmetic surgery in South Africa means real value for money, not least because patients can benefit from an ideal, warm climate for recuperation and relax in luxury accommodation. Common procedures breast augmentation and reduction, face lifts, liposuction, and nose and ear corrections. Dental surgery and tooth implants, eye surgery and laser treatments, and fertility treatments are popular with foreign visitors as well.

The private and public healthcare systems, combined with the country’s medical schools, have worked together to produce internationally-recognized medical specialists. Surgeons training in South Africa are required to undertake an extensive 12 year training programme before they qualify. Most surgeons study in the US or the UK before providing care in South Africa.

Europeans, in particular from Germany, Italy, and the UK, have been visiting South Africa for years to undergo plastic surgery. They have been drawn to the country due to the highly-qualified surgeons available, the excellent private clinics and the reasonable prices.

Traditionally medical tourism was largely for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, as well as orthopedic surgery. Now the traditional medical tourism services have expanded to cover all medical and surgical specialties from simple procedures to complex medical and surgical procedures at a reasonable cost. The country has the added advantage of English as one of its official languages, which is important because it facilitates communication and promotes transparency between patients - doctors - hospitals.