Free Plastic Surgery

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Free Plastic Surgery in China

to the ShanghaiDaily, ten students will be offered free cosmetic plastic surgery this summer worth up to 5,000 yuan (US $772) in return for working at a Shanghai hospital for one month as nursing aides, custodians, guards, or receptionists. As a bonus for those seeking cosmetic services costing above and beyond this allowance (which includes just about any surgery you can think of), additional discounts are available.

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One university student noted that she was eager to apply since she has always dreamed of having jawbone reduction surgery, which costs around US $5,000-$6,000. "A good appearance," she said, "is important for finding a job and for future development."

A local university professor questioned the hospital's motivation. "Businesses shouldn't seek to attract students by offering unnecessary products such as plastic surgery," he said.

"This is actually just a PR stunt by the hospital."

"The idea of exchanging students' labor and intelligence for products and service is good, if it is adopted by book stores," he said. "Then the exchange is for something students really need."

"But cosmetic surgery is an invasive medical practice, and whether students can be treated appropriately on the prices offered is questionable."

APSG Comment: As in the West, plastic surgery in East Asia is becoming much more a regular business and much less a noble profession.

Marketing based on price rather than quality seems to be the most successful formula, especially once medical clientele become viewed more as customers than patients. "PR stunts" are far from uncommon.

While bartering "free" surgery may at first seem to be pushing the boundaries of good taste if not good sense, it's fundamentally no different than American cosmetic surgeons hawking "Like us and get $100 off" or "10 units of Botox free with every laser skin peel" on daily short posts to Twitter and Facebook.

Of course, the only way that discounting will succeed is if a business owner can coax customers into spending more than they ever intended to by purchasing more than they really needed.

But then, "cosmetic" surgery is an elective luxury that is never needed anyway, so upselling is not always obvious. If the more you have done, the more you can save, sounds like a great way for a cash-strapped student to spend the summer.

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Free cosmetic surgery in China