The changing face of medical tourism in Africa

September, 2009

Lorraine Melvill, has been running Surgeon & Safari, a South African medical tourism facilitator for over ten years. She talked to IMTJ about the changing face of African Medical Tourism and the importance of standardising Medical Tourism Associations and facilitators across the world.

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By Michelle Higgins

17TH APRIL 2002

Some agents spotted opportunities in niche markets ahead of the current industry shakeout. For instance, Lorraine Melvill’s Surgeon & Safari, of Johannesburg, was born three years ago after a relative got a facelift in South Africa at a price well below U.S. fees.

Ms. Melvill says she does a brisk business arranging trips for tourists who want affordable South African cosmetic surgery, either in Cape Town or Johannesburg, with a safari vacation rolled in. Clients usually do the safari first, then go under the knife; they spend the rest of the trip recuperating in a five-star hotel tended by a personal assistant.

I live in Mozambique and I did the operation about 5 weeks ago. Lorraine is great and Rick is very professional. Will you stay with Lorraine? I would strongly recommend that, she was extremely helpful during the whole process and is very open and warm as a person. I was also very nervous before the operation and sent Rick lots of questions. I had thought about doing this operation about 5 years, so it was really a big thing for me. I think one part of the process was for myself to “let go” and trust Rick and Lorraine, without any family and friends around, I am normally used to be in control.


Also I have never been at a hospital so that part was new for me as well. The scars (lower part of nipple area) are now healing nicely and already they are getting difficult to see. The size is great – I was quite firm I did not want big breasts, so I have 180 ml in each, quite small implants in other words. I was swollen afterwards but stopped eating painkillers after about a week. I am very happy with my “new” body.



Travel: A surgical break?

SONIA EVANS WAS starting to feel desperate. A 39-year-old mother of two, she had piled on the pounds during both pregnancies. She had also recently divorced. Her confidence was at a low ebb until she read about Surgeon & Safari.

James Ellis investigates.

What’s your travel-bug? Read the full story

Hi Lorraine,


Well I’m home now for a couple of weeks and miss you and South Africa verymuch. Cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed meeting with you and experiencing your friendship the whole time I was there. You made me feel so comfortable and secure, but most important that I made a friend whom I could trust implicitly…




First Quantum Minerals has used the services of Surgeon and Safari for more than 5 years.  We run a self funded health benefits scheme and we need efficient and effective services.  Lorraine and her team provide highly personalised and professional health care management services for all of our high care needs in South Africa.  The reach that Surgeon and Safari have into the private health system creates a benefit for both the patient and the employee/insurer.  I would recommend their services to those seeking high quality, responsive, and professional health services in South Africa.

Going on a holiday for sun, safari and surgery

Tourists to South Africa come home with more than a tan after a “scalpel safari”.


A new breed of tourist to South Africa is returning home with more than a tan to account for their glowing good looks. The secret lies not only in the holiday of a lifetime in game parks or the Cape winelands but the chance to transform face or figure at the same time.

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Foreigners flock to South African GP’s and surgeons

“Nose jobs, boob enhancements, tummy-tucks and more – they’re stacking up as South Africa’s biggest medical bargain bash ever.”

Dear Lorraine,

I can’t thank you enough for your promptness and professionalism, not to mention your warmth and friendly demeanor. I am very nervous about undergoing such a surgery, but I feel so confident that I am spreading the news to family and friends alike. I have located a camera (I still do not have scanning capability for my computer…. just never got around to it) and will be taking the pictures within the next week. I look so forward to meeting all of you and seeing your beautiful country.

As always, Pam

Going To Extremes

Aug. 5, 2004

48 Hours takes a look at how more and more people are going to extremes to physically improve their appearance and achieve an edge in life.

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