Medical Tourism or Medical Misadventure? How to Choose the Right Hospital Abroad

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A New Zealand TV station is promoting medical tourism through a hyped reality series, “Beauty and the Beach”, which promises to showcase many “nip, tuck and tan” success stories associated with the booming medical tourism industry.


However, not everyone is supportive of the show, due to its apparent disregard for the patient deaths and botched operations affiliated with the show’s primary medical liaison, Gorgeous Getaways.

Gorgeous Getaways has been investigated by coroners on at least two separate occasions following the deaths of medical tourists whose procedures went terribly wrong. New Zealand patient, Krysia Zagrobelna, died in Malaysia after undergoing surgery for morbid obesity in 2007.


In 2014, medical tourist Leigh Aiple died after Gorgeous Getaways connected him with a hospital in Malaysia for a marathon plastic surgery session involving a tummy tuck, thigh lift, liposuction, upper eye lift, lip augmentation and chest sculpting. Gorgeous Getaways was not held responsible in either case.

While many patients have had positive experiences with their arrangements through Gorgeous Getaways, the underlying issue still remains: non-accredited medical facilities are cashing in on the medical tourism industry without meeting the impeccably high standards set forth by the Medical Tourism Association (MTA).

The unfortunate reality is that unscrupulous medical tourism liaison companies do exist. While they may explain the potential risks of a procedure to medical tourist hopefuls, they fail to address the major concerns surrounding the lack of accreditation of the surgeons and medical facilities they recommend to their clients. For anyone looking for low cost alternatives to surgical procedures, it’s important to focus on safety and quality of care, first and foremost.

To help facilitate patient well-being within the industry, the MTA works exhaustively with its affiliated medical destinations to ensure they are staffed with expertly-trained medical professionals.


MTA has spent years cultivating rigorous certification programs that help ensure each medical facility and its staff members have the education, training and resources necessary for utmost patient safety and satisfaction.

Ultimately, if the medical destination/facilitator you are considering is not  certified by the MTA or another qualified certification/ acreditation you may want to reconsider your trip. While all medical procedures come with potential risks, these can be greatly reduced by working with certified professionals who have a long track record of patient safety.

To learn more about medical facilities that are currently certified through MTA, please visit http://www.medicaltourismassociation.com/en/members.html