World-Class Cosmetic Surgery in Southeast Asia

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World-Class Plastic Surgery in Southeast Asia?

A major cause of economic distress throughout Southeast Asia (minus Singapore, which might as well be considered its very own region) is the sorry state of its educational systems.

While Taiwan, Singapore, and China have spent billions of dollars developing better quality university education and English-language instruction, Thailand and most other countries of Southeast Asia have moved little beyond the traditional educational goal of preserving national identity.

Educational systems now in place are designed to produce graduates who lack critical thinking but are obedient nationalistic citizens without a global perspective.


Plagued by overcrowding in the classrooms, the curriculum emphasizes rote-learning and basic literacy but not the skills needed in a modern labor market.

According to a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization, the average monthly factory wage for manufacturing jobs in Thailand in 2010 was $263, which, surprisingly, was substantially higher than that in the Philippines at $212, Indonesia at $182, Vietnam at $107, and Cambodia at $101.

While nice now, Thailand's higher wage for unskilled labor will not remain a godsend.

Lower level jobs needed to support a poorly-educated populace have begun to disappear. Labor in Thailand is simply no longer competitive or convenient for outside industries and so even basic manufacturing opportunities are now disappearing to lower wage countries. More

APSG Comment: Wait. Shoddy educational system, lack of critical thinking, graduates with limited skill sets, a populace with poor language skills, jobs moving away. Sound familiar?

But anyway, what does all this have to do with Asian plastic surgery?

One has to at least wonder: Can anyone beyond a few wealthy citizens in Southeast Asia actually afford more than dangerous black market treatments? Is the region's heavily marketed cosmetic surgery industry really more of a front to attract disappearing money from afar?

Medical travelers choosing their destinations based mainly on food, scenery, and price may wish to ponder their choices more critically despite claims from nearly every medical tourism organization assuring potential Western patients that cosmetic surgery in Southeast Asia is of "world class" caliber.

Certainly it is, but which world are they talking about -- First or Third?

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Cosmetic Surgery in Southeast Asia