TAIWAN - Statistics compiled by the Department of Health (DOH) under the Taipei City Government showed that more than 100 new medical cosmetic clinics established in Taipei in 2010 alone, providing services from hair removal to plastic surgery.
Kao Wei-chun, a division chief at the DOH of Taipei, said that many of the new clinics were set up by gynecologists and obstetricians, who were forced to switch to the medical cosmetic field amid the declining birth rate. Some doctors of general medicine, family medicine, otolaryngology, and urology have also joined the field.
Meanwhile, Chao Kai, a veteran doctor serving at the emergency treatment department of a local hospital, recently also led a group of younger emergency treatment doctors to join the medical cosmetological services. Chao said it's quite difficult for emergency treatment doctors to change their occupations, instead such doctors can only find new outlets in metropolitan areas, with medical cosmetology ranking as their top choice in this regard.
At the moment, patients are usually required to cover most of the payment on their own for cosmetic services they receive, and therefore doctors can secure better profits from such services.
In addition, Lin Chih-hong, director of the plastic surgery division at the Linkuo branch of the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, said that since Chang Gung's inception, around two thirds of plastic surgery doctors have switched to the lucrative medical cosmetology sector.
Some hospitals have even set up cosmetic centers within their buildings equipped with advanced facilities and instruments for hair removal, whitening and other related services to win a slice of the cosmetic service market.