In late October, the ABC’s World Today broadcast a story on Australian medical insurer NIB, which has announced it will begin offering offshore surgical packages to its Australian customers from next year, covering procedures including cosmetic surgery and majordental work.

NIB says that it will guarantee the safety and quality of these services, but Australian practitioners claim Australian doctors and dentists must meet higher standards of care and qualifications and that these are not matched overseas. The Australian Dental Associationand Australian Medical Association have both criticised the scheme, saying NIB would notbe able to guarantee the quality of the medical procedures.

In the ABC story, Dr Carmelo Bonanno, vice-president of the Australian Dental Association, describes the consequences of a botched job from an overseas dental practitioner. What he doesn’t discuss, however, is that there is an inherent risk in any surgical or dental procedure, including in Australia.

Australia certainly doesn’t have a flawless record when it comes to medical negligence. In fact, Australia has the highest rate of medical error in the world, according to the World Health Organisation. In fact, in June, the ABC reported on the gross inadequacy of Australian hospital records. The problem doesn’t lie with overseas providers – it is a matter of proper qualifications and following best practice guidelines.

It’s also important to point out that the domestic industry, while holding legitimate concerns over uncertified and disreputable practitioners, are also concerned with selfpreservation. Most cosmetic and medical tourism agents provide a safe, transparent environment and an ethical service. As is the case with medical error in Australia, it is the
actions of disreputable practitioners that have the potential to ruin the reputation of the industry as a whole.

For this reason, GORGEOUS GETAWAYS works with ISO 9001-accredited hospitals, a
transparent accreditation system equivalent to the same level of quality in Western countries like the UK, US and Australia. We have carried out extensive research to find
leading facilities at reasonable prices, and we stand by the safety and conditions provided in those facilities.

GORGEOUS GETAWAYS applauds the announcement and sees it as a coup for smaller medical tourism and cosmetic surgery tourism providers, in that a large organisation like
NIB understands that the benefits outweigh the risks. We believe it demonstrates that the increasing popularity of surgery holidays is a topic that can no longer be dismissed as
fickle or unsafe by the domestic industry.

GORGEOUS GETAWAYS staff stand by the service we offer and provide a guarantee to our clients that they are not putting themselves at undue risk by travelling offshore for surgery. We understand that we have a responsibility to our clients even after they have returned home, and bear ourselves with a posture reflecting that philosophy. Read more about our guarantee here.