Every year, more and more female plastic surgeons, dermatologists and orthodontists are entering consulting rooms and surgery floors, doing beautiful work. And while their number is growing yearly, so is the number of women eager to use them.by CARA BOUWER
NIPS, TUCKS, DRILLS & SCALPELS
THE NUMBERS Of the 145 cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons in SA, only 10 are women. And it’s not the only medical field dealing with aesthetics that’s still dominated by men. In orthodontics and dermatology, too, practising male doctors still far outnumber their female counterparts.
THE TURNAROUND Government is actively promoting gender equality in these fields by prioritising the selection of women more specifically, women of colour for the training positions that transform doctors in general practice into specialists in a chosen field.
THE REALITY Even the best intentions and most carefully implemented initiatives can’t reverse decades of inequality. Only time can do that. Thankfully, though, time is something medical specialists have learnt not to rush: after all, by the time they qualify, they’ll have spent about one-third of their lives in tertiary study.
To read the full version of this story, go to page 86 of the January/February issue.
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DESIGNER FINANCE FOR DESIGNER BODIES
The popularity of cosmetic surgery is on the increase. And – not surprisingly – with medical aids only covering cosmetic surgery if it’s 100% necessary for health reasons, financing is an interesting issue. Internationally, speciality plastic surgery financing companies began entering the market in the 1990s. It’s taken a while for SA to catch on, but recently an innovative niche financing company entered the fray…
BY JOLENE RAISON
Jason Sive of First Health Finance (FHF) points out that “as a whole, many procedures in the cosmetic industry, including cosmetic dental, plastic surgery and LASIK eye procedures, are becoming more common.” This holds true for men and women of all ages – and sometimes, in exceptional circumstances, even children!
With the nature of the industry changing so dramatically, it’s hardly surprising that the financing of these procedures needs to change too. More and more people are financing their surgery through a niche credit provider, rather than via their bank.
Get credit from someone who “gets” you
Why are so many people opting for specialised finance, rather than simply loading their credit card? It may be that they feel they’re getting a better deal with a customised solution – think of it in terms of buying a car via vehicle finance and not with a personal loan.
Or it may simply be that, as Sive explains: “The decision to undergo any medical procedure is a very personal one.” He believes FHF’s intimate one-on-one offering makes the process easier and more comfortable. Plus, although cosmetic surgery isn’t the taboo subject it once was, many women may feel uncomfortable explaining why they need a bigger overdraft or higher credit limit to their bank.
Why choose a niche credit provider?
Sive explains that the benefit of their niche finance is that it offers a holistic package that extends beyond pure finance and provides:
• Convenience They pay cosmetic surgeons directly on a client’s behalf.
• Woman-to-woman empathy All call centre agents are female.
• Personal care They can even arrange the initial doctor’s visit.
• Simplicity A client can apply for finance online at www.fhf.co.za/ or in person.
• Competitive rates They can match or beat the rates of most credit card providers.
• Quick turnaround times A vital factor in this momentous, exciting, venture.
When financing, remember…
No matter how you opt to finance your surgery, it’s essential that the lender you choose is registered with the National Credit Regulator. It’s your only guarantee that they’re committed to responsible lending practices. And keep in mind that as frustrating as the affordability and credit checks they’ll run may be; they’re there to safeguard you against over-indebtedness and are a legal prerequisite to the granting of a loan.