Partners in Pain and Gain

Nov. 17, 2006 – When Jacqueline Roberts (69) and Patricia Neal (67), both sisters, decided to undergo cosmetic surgery together, little did they realise their dream will take them to India, thousands of miles away. Jacky wanted this surgery as her abdomen was scarred with three abdominal surgeries in last 25 years and Patricia readily agreed to be her companion in the whole process including getting operated along with. Their research for Cost effective packages led them to India, when they read a story in ‘Daily Mail’ about a UK nurse, Anne Marie Jones, who traveled to Fortis Hospital, Mohali in January,2006 and came back very happy with her Tummy Tuck surgery. Anne Marie strongly recommended Dr K M Kapoor, Senior Consultant and Head, Dep’t of Cosmetic Surgery for this job and dispelled all their doubts about travel to India
Both landed in Delhi on 6th Nov and headed straight to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. They reached Mohali on 9th November after the brief vacation. They underwent all the necessary tests and anesthesia evaluation on the same day. They were originally scheduled for surgery on 10th and 11th respectively. But Patricia had different plans. She insisted that since they were doing everything together, both of them should be operated on the same day. It was a tough call but Dr K M Kapoor accepted this challenge. Jacqueline was operated on the morning of 10th November and Patricia in the afternoon. This is probably first time in the world that two sisters have undergone same cosmetic surgical procedure in a single day.
Post operatively, both recovered quickly and were on their feet with support on the very next day. After 5 days, both were discharged from the hospital. They are all praise for their doctor, nurses and supporting staff at Fortis Hospital. “This is the first time, we were treated so well in a hospital” says Jacqueline. “We were treated like royalty. So many people were at our beck and call” gushed Patricia.
Getting surgery done with a partner is the latest trend in the world. According to 2005 statistics released by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a specialty group for certified plastic surgeons who focus on the face, head and neck, 34% of those surveyed report that more people are getting plastic surgery with a companion. The pairings range from friends, sisters, husbands and wives, and mothers and daughters. Some of the reasons for people seeking surgery with a partner are giving moral support to each other, bonding with a friend or relative or going through the phase of healing together.
Medical tourism(MT) is the next big thing in India after IT success. According to a study by CII-Mckinsey, the revenue generation from Medical Tourism is expected to touch approx 2.1 billion dollars in India by 2011. Ashish Bhatia, COO, Fortis Hospital, Mohali said “ Fortis Hospital has maintained leadership position in medical tourism in this region. We can provide complete logistic support to a medical tourist right from Airport pickup to getting medical treatment and back. We also have facility for online consultation and video conference prior to patient’s arrival.”
With increasing waiting times and the prohibitive cost of seeking private medical treatment in the UK, many patients are now seeking treatment in India. There are 8, 50,000 patients waiting for a hospital bed in the UK and 45-million plus uninsured in the US. India offers some of the best medical treatments in the world and has experienced a boom in recent years in patients or ‘medical tourists’. Healthcare facilities are among the most cost effective in the world, with private hospitals and clinics offering treatments at a fraction of the price offered by private hospitals in the UK. Travel time from the UK is only nine hours with many direct flights from the UK. Even with the cost of flights and accommodation treatment in India can still be up to 60% cheaper than the equivalent procedure in the UK.

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