More foreigners head to Czech Republic for facelifts

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Indy Lifestyle Online

More foreigners are travelling to the Czech Republic for breast enlargements and facelifts as the economic crisis drives the search for cheaper cosmetic surgery, tourism officials said Tuesday.

"We have witnessed a big increase in the number of medical tourists, from about 6,000 in 2008 to 9,000 last year," the vice president of the Association of Czech Tourism Agencies, Tomio Okamura, told journalists.

Foreigners now account for a fifth of the total number of cosmetic surgery clients in the country, he said.

"Paradoxically, it is the (economic) crisis that helps us. People want cosmetic surgery that is less expensive but of a quality comparable to that in the West."

Most of the clients are German, followed by Britons and Austrians, but Poles and Slovaks have also gone to the country for cosmetic surgery, said Okamura.

Roman Kufa, the head doctor at a cosmetic surgery clinic in Prague, told the press conference that Czech prices were about three or four times lower than in the West.