Patients without Borders: Medical Tourism and Medical Migration in Southern Africa, 2012


A great deal of medical tourism to South Africa is not from the North at all, but from other African countries. Medical tourism operators, facilitators and service providers generally advertise South Africa as a cosmetic tourism destination. The most popular pro¬cedures for European medical tourists are hip replacements, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction, facelifts and tummy tucks. In other words, South Africa is seen as an archetypal medical tourism destination, combining a medical (elective) procedure with related travel and tourism activity.

This paper first reviews the operation of the private sector indus¬try in South Africa and the role of medical facilitators in particular. It shows that the industry is premised on a highly romanticised and stylised image of South Africa which stresses the quality of the country's private healthcare system and its numerous tourist attractions.

Resource type

  • Book

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Publishing details

  •     Author:  Jonathan Crush, Abel Chikanda and Belinda Maswikwa
  •     Country: Canada


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