Medical Suites Market

Medical Suites Market May Gain From Booming Aesthetics Sector

SINGAPORE – The city-state’s market for medical suites or medical offices may benefit from the unexpected sharp increase in domestic demand for cosmetic enhancement procedures.

The Business Times reported on Friday morning (15 January, SGT) that the aesthetics and wellness sector is seeing strong take-up from locals, which has offset the loss of earnings due to the absence of medical tourists.

The significant increase in business is due to the pent-up demand that is locked in Singapore as people cannot travel to other countries for aesthetic procedures.

For instance, MWH Medical revealed that its aesthetics business has recorded 2-digit growth versus pre-COVID times, with most clients comprising locals or foreigners living in the city-state. Notably, the firm operates multiple aesthetics clinics under brands, Q Aesthetics Clinic and The Aesthetics Medical Clinic.

MWH Medical’s group COO Michelle Lim shared that locals who usually seek aesthetic services and treatments abroad have turned their attention to aesthetics practices in Singapore.

Similarly, Singapore Medical Group (SMG) shared that revenue from aesthetic services and procedures offered at its SW1 clinics has exceeded those before the health crisis. Notably SW1 has branches in OUE Downtown Gallery and Paragon.

SW1 Clinic’s Founder & Medical Director Low Chai Ling noted that the domestic aesthetics market has become more flourishing as locals currently cannot get treatment from other countries.

Matthew Yeo, a plastic surgeon at Picasso Plastic Surgery, concurs. “Many of us are seeing more local patients, partly because some people who were previously intending to seek medical treatment abroad are not able to travel.”

Another reason driving demand for aesthetic procedures is the mandatory wearing of masks.

“People started having skin issues such as acne on the lower face with long hours of wearing their masks, and sought us out for lasers and skincare to clear their skin,” Low pointed out. Consequently, laser treatments to remove acne and pigmentation are the most in-demand services at SW1 clinics.

The mandatory wearing of masks also made people conscious of their eyes. As such, Yeo noted that take-up of eye-related aesthetic treatments has grown by 20 to 25 percent, including eye bag surgeries, filler injections around the eye, and botox injection.

In addition, the prevalence of working from home has provided people with enough time to recover from invasive treatments, like nose jobs or double eyelid surgery, noted Low. The demand for such procedures is so robust that there’s presently a five-month-long waitlist for plastic surgery treatments at SW1 clinics, with the most popular being breast augmentation and eye bag surgery.

Meanwhile, Q & M Dental Group’s COO Raymond Ang believes that it’s “probably the best time” to get orthodontics treatment as masks can hide braces. He also shared that the number of people who sought orthodontics procedure at his company increased by more than 20 percent last month as compared to June 2020, when the circuit breaker period ended.

According to a report from Fortune Business Insights, the cosmetic surgery market alone is valued at approximately US$50.67 billion in 2018, and is forecasted to hit US$66.96 billion by 2026.

Usually, people go to other countries for more affordable aesthetic procedures or to avail the service of a famous specialist.

Yeo said that those who are price-conscious will have to wait until overseas travel resumes, but others are now on the hunt for local reputable doctors.

“The private healthcare in Singapore services the high-end market segment, instead of being yet another mass market medical tourism provider as is seen in many developing countries,” added Yeo.

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