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You started Surgeon & Safari in 1999 – How has your business grown since then and in relation to the industry as a whole?

Having spearheaded the industry not only in SA but globally and over the time observed the entry of cheap alternative destination grown in our focus ensuring the quality and service of South African surgeons in private practise whom are ethical, honest to patients ensuring they have realistic expectations, have the correct malpractice insurance to operate on our overseas clients and Private Health care together with our personalise enquiry service though to aftercare, support and follow up making it a constant experience.

Making information keys so that clients can make an informed decisions – In other words we will not cut corners and cost at the cost of quality – Making our product a reliable reputable option Surgeon and Safari has continued to look for the competitive edge and thus developed a private home accommodation environment making the recuperation a comfortable “home from home” experience with a truly  personalised aftercare which has become the preferred choose of our repeat clients The business has grown to most areas in the globe and moved into other medical speciality needs including some medical clients other than elective procedures We have establish a reliable consistent reputation with a strong repeat client and past client referral base  

What kind of cost differences can potential patients coming from the UK expect when booking procedures in South Africa?

The total cost of surgery if comparing to the equitable from the UK private health care sector you are looking at about half the cost with more value for your money in terms of immediate post op care in private hospitals and medical follow up back in the UK – we also use email for follow up once clients are back home Most ex pats will use our service to facilitated their surgery and many stay with family and friends and will plan with an already planned returned trip thus not using accommodation package or if they do just for  few days.

Other clients want the after care and follow up which is not offered in the UK and will therefore opts to stay at our facility giving them peace of mind as we take care of everything so that they can focus on themselves and their recovery thus making sure they are taken care of with all their consultation admission into hospital and assistance and reassurance during recovery If taking advantage of the recuperation accommodation together with the surgery and service it will come to the same cost of just the surgery in the UK We also work with surgeons whom fly to London every 3 months offer pre-operative consultation and follow up after they return home.

What are your personal comments on the post-operative care
facilities in South Africa?

I can only comment on Surgeon and Safari which has taken additional care with the service and support offered to clients post operative care by offered personalised support and escorts at all time – it is important the clients have emotional support One has to be careful about what the surgeons whom have their own facilities and doing procedure in room and clients having no overnight in hospitals with no medical backup ... and other operators putting clients into hotels – leaving patients with inexperienced hands with little personalised input.

What medical and post-operative care facilities are utilised by
Surgeon & Safari?

Firstly we ensure that clients are  kept in hospitals for at least 24 – 48 hours depending on the procedure where they will receive 24 hours nursing this is the time when medical complications can occur and we like to ensure that they have the correct medical backup on hand and only after they are clearly on the path to medical health will they discharged Being independent facilitators we offer client the “outsider ear” for any complaints and ensure that these are address as and when they expressed using communication as a tool to recovery as it is important the clients express how they are feeling and need a lot of reassurance. If they need additional medical support they will be taken back to the hospital with the necessary specialists needed. So we offer an important emotional vessel for clients at a vulnerable time when they are out of their comfort zone away from home - see above.

What areas in South Africa are most popular?

Yet again Surgeon and Safari has most clients coming to Johannesburg as it is the bigger medical hub.

Where do the majority of your patients come from?

Firstly they are the medical patients of the specialist yet our clients and as a result will take care of the client’s needs and the surgeons take responsibility for the medical needs where we act as the facilitator focused on the client needs at all times When we started the USA was the largest market which was followed by the UK No we find a larger ex pat market coming from Africa, Australia and New Zealand.  

What Procedures are most popular?

Do patients favour wine land getaways or bush safaris or a combination of both?

Most clients focus in their surgery -  expectations of quality input and their recuperation – Seeking valued added service first time travellers to SA will tends to the day trip in and around the city of recuperation and on repeat trips take an extended trip to do a combination as the explore SA – so their Surgery experience becomes the catalyst for future trip having received good service and hospitality in SA sunshine and energy.  

Ex pats seldom embark on additional tours as they are returning home with the focus of visiting family and friends and getting a good dose.  

In your own words what does SA offer over other surgical destination?

First private health care, English spoken language – first world infrastructure and personalised after care – good western food   How does medical tourism impact SA tourism as a whole You need to ask SATourism whom have not identified this industry nor offered support as in cases like India and Thailand – so each alone We have had many clients spend large amounts of money and on repeat trip invested in property so I have to assume the benefit has reached beyond tourism but rather the economy as whole – most of all our clients have had a positive SA experience and in most cases exceeded their expectation about SA –  fears of crime, third world etc ... all the negatives.

Are your surgeons properly qualified?

Will I not compromise quality for the better price you offer?

How will my concerns and fears be addressed?

We fully understand that people might have different expectations and can not stress enough that you have a right to all the information required to make an informed choice decision and urge everyone to ask the questions that concern them most and only make the final decision once you are satisfied with the answers.

Are the medical facilities up to standard and fully equipped to deal
with my procedure?

How will I be cared for after the operation is done?

How do you handle folow-ups once I am back in my home country?

What if something goes wrong?

What insurance cover options do I have?

Are blood transfusions safe and what about HIV/Aids?


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