Plastic and cosmetic surgery in Denmark, or “plastik og kosmetisk kirurgi”, as it is termed in local parlance, is gaining increasing popularity in the country. It is, but one, of the myriad manifestations of the health and fitness drive. The economic boom witnessed by the country, in the past few years, has also made the affordability factor less of a consideration. Indulgence in cosmetic beautification has gripped the young and elderly, both men and women, and touched towns, cities and the countryside, all alike.
Already about 320,000 Danes have been under the knife, in other words, 8 % of the total adult population of Denmark – and the numbers are projected to rise even further. Latest research indicates a 20 % to 30 % projected increase in the coming years of the number of Danes looking for cosmetic surgery. Interestingly, every fifth female over the age of 17 is actively considering getting cosmetic surgery done, whereas every tenth female has already had cosmetic surgery done. Eighty percent of all Danes find the notion of cosmetic surgery fully acceptable. At present, about 30,000 cosmetic surgeries, per annum, are performed nationwide.
What is even more fascinating is that men account for a significant proportion of all cosmetic surgeries performed in Denmark. Every third Dane who has undergone or is contemplating cosmetic surgery is a male. Five percent of the adult Danish male population, about 100,000 has been under the knife, and 15% to 25% of the patients at plastic and cosmetic surgery clinics are indeed male, many of whom are the metrosexual varieties.
The types of plastic and cosmetic surgeries in Denmark that generate the greatest patient interest are related to the breast treatments, eyelids, nose, liposuction, laser hair removal, abdomen and stomach, and last but not least, face-lifts.
The surge in interest in cosmetic surgeries is putting pressure on the Danish public healthcare system in a number of ways: (i) the brightest of plastic and cosmetic surgeons are defecting into private practice, thus reducing the talent pool within the public domain; and (ii) the costs of certain plastic and cosmetic surgeries performed in private hospitals are still being paid for by the public system – such as eyelid surgery, breast reduction and obesity surgery, where patients can easily claim that surgery is necessary to the healthy functioning of the body, and not due to any cosmetic concerns. According to Danish law, all cosmetic surgeries are to be financed privately by individuals, however, this grey zone of interpreting what is cosmetic versus what is essential to the healthy functioning of the body, has begun to tax the Danish public budget. Given the recent increase in the interest in cosmetic surgery, this problem is bound to worsen. In all likelihood, the Danish public healthcare system will have to put its foot down and refuse paying for such grey zone surgeries. If this happens, clearly, the demand for cosmetic surgeries at private hospitals will further rise, and hence, as will the waiting periods. To illustrate, one of the most famous private hospitals in Copenhagen, Hamlet Privathospital, has increased its revenues from cosmetic surgery three-fold in the past six years. However, the waiting period, in certain cases at private hospitals, can be as long as two-and-a-half months, from initial consultation to actual treatment.
Traditionally, cosmetic surgery has never been fully covered, if at all, by medical insurance, whether in Denmark or in most parts of the world. And, therefore, as is common knowledge, it can be an expensive undertaking. The cost of plastic and cosmetic surgery in Denmark is expensive. To quote a few examples of private hospital prices:
(i) Eyelid Surgery: ranges from DKK 7,000 to DKK 13,000 (USD 1,100 to USD 2,100)
(ii) Breast reconstruction: the surgery can cost from anywhere upwards of DKK 65,000 (USD 10,800);
(iii) Liposuction of the stomach: DKK 21,500 (USD 3,500);
(iv) Laser Hair Removal: DKK 12,000 (USD 2000)
(v) Hair Transplant: ranges from DKK 40,000 to DKK 350,000 (USD 6,600 to USD 58,000)
High cost of plastic and cosmetic surgery and significant waiting periods, has led to a notable growth in medical travel to other countries where the cost of the same treatment is lower and, therefore, more affordable for Danes. Popular treatment destinations include Turkey, Poland and Hungary. An increasing number of Danes have also now begun traveling to Asia, where they can draw the benefits of both excellent surgical treatment at the most competitive rates, combined with the option of making the trip a leisure and holiday journey. Now, given the waiting lists for cosmetic surgery even at private hospitals in Denmark, it is only natural for Danes to continue traveling abroad for treatment.
India may well be the next destination for medical tourists from Denmark. Cost of medical treatment in India for foreigners is one of the cheapest in the world, if not the most competitive. In Asia, it surpasses the cost advantages of even Thailand and Singapore. Quality of treatment is world-class, second to none, and at par, if not superior, in cases, to treatment available in the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2002, the number of foreign patients who traveled to India for treatment was 150,000. In 2005, the same figure was close to 500,000. Travel to India for medical treatment is gaining momentum – India is a fast-growing centre for tourism offering the wonders of resplendent cultural richness with the magic of India’s natural beauty. Patients are now also able to combine travel to India for medical treatment with a uniquely fulfilling holiday.
For more information on medical tourism to India, please consult the information below.
Poonam Mathur – Denmark Consultant: [email protected]
Medical Tourism to India: http://www.forerunnershealthcare.com
International Patient Experiences: http://www.forerunnershealthcare.com/international.php
Contact Number: Mobile: +45 2986 2501; +45 39 67 03 97