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

Where can I get this publication?  

Publishing details

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


Do you have an article that you’d like to share with the medical travel industry?

Publish for FREE on IMTJ.


Related Resources

Strategic purchasing of cross border healthcare services

30 April, 2018

Graham Elderfield, IMTJ Medical Travel Summit USA 2018

Business models for the international patient business in medical tourism

01 May, 2017

Edwin McCarthy, Destination Health: The Medical Travel Summit USA

How the patient experience drives the global brand

01 May, 2017

Ilan Geva, Destination Health: The Medical Travel Summit USA

Domestic medical tourism opportunities

01 May, 2017

Irving Stackpole, Destination Health: The Medical Travel Summit USA

The Latam Medical Travel Market

01 May, 2017

Luis Santamaria, Destination Health: The Medical Travel Summit USA