Cosmetic surgery growing in Mauritius

With relatively low costs and an existing tourist base, Mauritius is becoming a minor destination for cosmetic surgery.

In one of the most prosperous economies in Africa the tourist economy contributes over 25% of GDP. Medical tourism is mostly based on cosmetic surgery but with few facilities is never going to be big. Mauritius had an estimated 16,000 medical tourists in 2015, up from 1,000 in 2005 and 12,000 in 2012.

Holidays in Mauritius are at the luxury end of the market and the Board of Investment is keen to attract upmarket hospitals, cosmetic surgery clinics and alternative medicine venues.

Half of all medical tourists come from neighbouring islands such as Seychelles and Reunion, but the government claims that a growing proportion are travelling from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Dr. Javed Dawreeawo, is a local cosmetic surgeon with increasing visitor numbers from Europe and Asia. Chinese patients often want face procedures, like double eyelid surgery; the British seek breast augmentation; and Dubai patients seek liposuction.

The government seeks to attract foreign talent by streamlining its visa and work permit processes, and offering tax breaks to medical businesses.