Tunisia eyes 'extraordinary' medical tourism boom


Tunisia might not be at the top of people's lists when they research medical tourism destinations.

But the situation is changing, and more and more people are travelling to the African nation to undergo treatment abroad.

Apart from being renowned as a sun-and-sea holiday destination, the former French colony is one of the most developed of the African nations, with a good health infrastructure and highly-skilled medical staff, many of whom trained in Europe and the US, according to Reuters news agency.

Despite this, it has only recently decided to get in on the medical tourism act and is beginning to offer extremely attractive prices to bring foreign patients into the country.

For example, Tunisian surgeons will perform breast enlargement surgery at around half the price you would expect to pay in established medical tourism destinations such as France.

Slim Ben Yeder, manager of the Soukra Clinic in Tunis, told Reuters: "There is a growing European fad for plastic surgery in Tunisia. It could become a hub for medical tourism."

At present, the country only attracts around 500 foreign tourists for surgery, whereas nations like France can expect around 200,000 annually.

However, Mr Ben Yeder is certain that this figure will increase, creating "an extraordinary industry".

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