On the 20th of February 2014, British Polish Chamber of Commerce Kraków/ BPCC Kraków organized at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London a Tourist Market Forum 2014.
The event aimed at drawing particular attention to medical tourism, an area in which one can observe huge potential and chance of development for Polish businessmen who offer services relating to it.
The forum enjoyed large attendance – the market reacted to the event in such a way that its concequence can only be another edition, which is planned for Autumn 2014. The next step taken by BPCC is inviting the British for Study Tours around Poland, in order to present them some of the most active entities remaining in partnership with the British Polish Chamber of Commerce. The participants of the Forum will surely take further steps to develop business contacts formed during the meeting.
The MEP stressed in his letter to BPCC Kraków, the Embassy of Poland in London and the participants of the Forum that:
“Poland has a tremendous opportunity and potential to become a global player in a tourism industry, especially in medical and sightseeing tourism which are the main focus on this conference”. We wish Polish businessmen to make use of this remarkable potential. What is more, Paweł Kowal stressed that he resolves to encourage all activities and initiatives taken up within the European Union’s tourism section policy.
Director of BPCC in Kraków Agnieszka Libura, Director of BPCC London Michael Clay and the first counsellor of the Departament of Industrial Policy and Promotion (WPHI) at the Embassy of Poland in London Leszek Banaszak, welcomed the participants in the beautiful interiors of the Embassy. The glamorous interiors pointed at the rank of the event, which was organized at the plea of the BPCC members and was settled as the meeting place in response.
During the lectures help by invited experts, the figures pointing at enormous potential of tourism area and medical tourism were confirmed. The speakers clearly stressed that Poland needs to use the opportunity created by the directive of the European Parliament and the Council 2011/24/UE from 9th of March 2011 becoming effective, concerning the application of patients’ rights in cross-border health care. The dinner created opportunity to take up talks on business cooperation between Polish and British participants. Both parties ware interested in maintaining a lasting relation, allowing for synergisting development of activities.
One of the elements of the programme was handing the “POLAND thanks you!” awards, which aim at honouring the activity of the British entities on behalf of Poland and its development in the tourism area. The awards were granted to: MD Angela Chouaib (Secret Surgery), who held remarkably interesting lectures on medical tourism, based on their own rich experience in that area.
We know that the Hungarians have made excellent use of the free flow of patients from other countries of the European Union. If they did this, we should follow their way and this fine example. Polish facilities offer services on remarkably high level, what was reflected in the speeches of the British lecturers.
In addition, our country can in fact offer anything a potential tourist could possibly want. The flow of the British tourists can lay foundation for business – its range is virtually unlimited. British Polish Chamber of Commerce is ready to help Polish businessmen to become beneficiaries of the activating endevours and those strenghtening the relations with the partners from the British Isles.
We believe that such chance should on no account remain unused, what was confirmed by every sentence of the experts speaking during the Forum. Awards/Sculptures were made by The Wieliczka Salt Mine.
|Read More on: http://www.bpcc.org.pl/en/article/medical-tourism-forum-2014%5B2009530%5D.html||
Angie Hill, 44, lives in Margate with her partner Elaine and their daughter Emily and two foster children. After trying many diets, she decided to have gastric wrap keyhole surgery in Prague, where costs are cheaper than in the UK. The procedure folds and then stitches the stomach to make a tube, restricting the amount of food that can be eaten. Height: 5ft 7in. Total weight loss: 5st 4lb.
January 2013 17st 6lb, size 22-24
I first heard about this surgery in May 2012, when I attended a meeting at Secret Surgery, which arranges procedures overseas. My partner Elaine had a gastric bypass then went to Poland for a tummy tuck in 2010. A gastric wrap is less extreme than a bypass, gives good weight loss and there’s a lower risk of vomiting than with a gastric band.
The only question was how quickly I could save the money for the operation – it cost £4,640 for the surgery, flights and accommodation, plus £350 for Elaine to go with me. My operation is booked for 15 January in Prague and I began my pre-op liquid diet of light yoghurts and soups on New Year’s Day.
My weight dramatically increased when I came out as gay, aged 14. Since then, I’ve yo-yoed. I’m a comfort eater, plus my portion sizes are too big, I snack and I have a habit of eating in the evening. I’ve tried every diet going and asked my GP for support but nothing has worked. My blood pressure is high, I get breathless easily and my joints ache. I also find I get emotional and upset about my weight and I hate wearing frumpy clothes.
April 2013 13st 4lb, size 16-18
I’ve lost 4st 2lb and I’m looking forward to getting even smaller. The surgery was straightforward. I spent two nights in hospital and three in an apartment in Prague. I was on liquid food for two weeks, followed by two weeks of purées, two weeks of mashed food, then soft foods such as porridge and eggs. Now I’m on normal food, but much smaller portions as my stomach is the size of a banana. I’ll have muesli or porridge for breakfast, soup or cheese and crackers for lunch, then dinner on a tea plate – such as haddock with a creamy sauce and vegetables. If I eat even a teaspoon too much I feel sick. I feel so much more alive now – I can actually play with the kids when I take them to the park. My knee doesn’t lock if I kneel. I’ve just been on an all-inclusive holiday and didn’t put on the half stone I usually would.
July 2013 12st 8lb, size 14-16
I only lost 3lb in May and 3lb in June so I’ve had to look at what I’m eating. I need to cut down on carbs and choose chicken and salad instead of a roast dinner. I do get very tired sometimes and I’ve had some hair loss, both of which are problems with gastric surgery. The follow-up to my surgery has been great. I log on to the Secret Surgery forum and I attend a monthly support meeting in Rochester, an hour’s drive away. I can also see my GP if I have any concerns, but I haven’t had to do that. My daughter Emily takes a photo of me every month, so I can see how much my body has changed. She used to call my bum my ‘bookshelf’. It’s gone now.
‘Without the operation, I don’t know what size I would have been by now’
October 2013 12st 5lb, size 14-16
I’m closer to a size 14 now because I’ve lost several inches. Elaine and I joined the gym two weeks ago. My operation has brought us closer as she has helped me learn how to eat post-surgery and we both feel better about ourselves. I used to be an apple but now I’m a pear, and it’s a thrill to be able to wear fitted clothes instead of my old baggy T-shirts and trousers.
December 2013 12st 2lb, size 14
I can walk into the gym with my head held high but there are some bits of my body that exercise can’t touch. My skin was stretched when I was bigger and it hasn’t snapped back so I’m having a tummy tuck in Poland next month, then saving for a breast reduction and to have some skin removed from my upper arms. Another problem is that surgery doesn’t remove the ‘head hunger’ that makes me want to eat when I’m not hungry. But without the operation, I don’t know what size I would have been by now.
I’m really positive about the experience. It was scary going abroad for surgery but I researched the hospital and the doctor, and I chose the procedure I felt would suit me best. I look at the portions being served in restaurants and I think, ‘How could anyone eat all that food?’ But I used to. I’m so glad that’s not my life any more.
Its really exciting news at Secret Surgery and we really couldn’t keep our latest news to ourselves; so here is a sneak preview.
Please take a look at our new purpose built 60 bedroom private KWS hospital in Wroclaw. We will be officially launching this medical facility in December with a view to sending patients here in the New Year.
Our MD & Founder Angela Chouaib personally was an Inpatient in this facility in August 2013 where she had a thigh lift; as she stands by only recommending services she has personally experienced herself first hand.
“Due to the continued success of Secret Surgery Ltd and positive feedback from our patients under the care of Dr Wacławowicz, KWS hospital will be used in addition to EMC Instytut Medyczny (which is reaching full capacity) and will be run by the wonderfully talented Dr. Wojciech Wacławowicz, Head of the Plastic Surgery. “
All the UK firms treated me like some meat on a conveyor belt and a mobile cash machine! It was only after a friend mentioned looking at having surgery abroad that I stumbled upon secret surgery.
The difference in care, support, price, friendships etc since discovering Secret Surgery has changed my life. As for the lipo, I wanted to get rid of my muffin top and marsupial pouch (as I called it) after having 2 kids in quick succession. So, much to the shock of all my friends (thanks mainly to the shock horror stories from the media) I headed out to Poland alone for the procedure.
I was so confident in Angela and Secret Surgery, I knew there was nothing to fear. The apartment was amazing, gr8 location and right in the city centre to venture round. Jack & Aga were fabulous and always contactable as was Angela. The hospital was jaw dropping amazing. Not all the nurses speak English so could sometimes be difficult in communicating but there was always an English speaking nurse somewhere on duty.
Dr W is a man of few words…. But a surgeon genius. He removed 2.5litres of fat and the results were immediate. I must admit for me there was considerable discomfort immediately after surgery and for 2wks after and the corset they tell you to wear, I wore for much longer (day & night) for probably 4-6wks but that was just a personal thing.
I used arnica salve every day to reduce bruising. I also massage my abdo every day and do regular exercises specifically in that area. When I first looked into this, I kind of ignored everyone who said this procedure isn’t a quick fix… It is and it isn’t, I still invest my time and energy into looking after the gr8 work of Dr W (the scars have virtually disappeared unless u look really close!) and 8mths on the results are as good as the day after surgery.
You’ll experience highs and lows after surgery as there are points during early recovery where you go a bit lumpy and you think to yourself ‘what the hell have I done’ but again, for me Angela was there throughout my journey giving insight, advice, reassurance etc… and still is; the care doesn’t just stop once the surgery is complete and the plane back on UK soil.
I hope this brief introduction of my experience helps others reach the right decision as to whether this procedure is for you or not. I cannot fault the company, team, hospital, clinicians (and anyone else involved behind the scenes.
MS J IN DEVON (NHS PARAMEDIC)
Running your own business is one of the greatest challenges you will ever face. I should know: I’ve been there, and what’s more I’m still here, leading Secret Surgery, as I have since its inception in 2010.
It’s been exhausting, it’s been rewarding and it’s been more fun than I could have ever imagined. Highlights, while too many to list, but include receiving our 100th positive patient testimonial from Carole, watching a few patients give birth to longed for children, and following the massive weightloss of some 40 stone within our support group since January 2013, lots of ladies publishing their success stories in glossy magazines, aswell as helping hundreds of men and women feel good about their bodies again.
That’s not to say it’s all been plain sailing of course. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a sweet shop or a cosmetic surgery company: there are going to be pitfalls, setbacks and days when you just want to go back to bed and wake up in an alternate reality. One where None of This Stuff is Happening.
Financially, Secret Surgery is in better shape than ever, with record numbers of patients jetting off to our Polish clinic to experience surgery abroad. Judging by the positive testimonials that keep pouring in, we appear to be adhering to our mission statement and delivering on our promises. To invoke a well-worn saying however, you can’t please all the people all of the time.
Since January 2013, I have been subjected to a campaign of vicious harassment by a former patient. Disgruntled by her experience of cosmetic surgery that wasn’t even booked through my company, the patient proceeded to wage a one-woman war against me, going so far as to make up false allegations about Secret Surgery and to dupe sections of the tabloid press into publicising her ‘story’. This matter has been addressed in a previous blog post http://secret-surgery.com/2013/07/21/setting-the-record-straight-that-mail-on-sunday-article/ so I won’t rehash the story here. Suffice to say the last few months have been a waking nightmare which I am confident the women in question will be delighted to hear.
Constant press intrusion, personal attacks and attempts to undermine Secret Surgery’s hard-earned reputation are just some of the flak that’s come my way daily. In particular, this woman’s vendetta has left me physically and emotionally exhausted. I am still in the early stages of recovering from thigh surgery and have been forced to wage a war on two fronts, trying to protect my business and safeguard my own health. As a consequence, I have decided to take a step back and focus on my own welfare for the time being as my personal health and happiness is much higher value. Once I have fully recuperated, I’ll be ready to lead Secret Surgery once again.
I’d like to thank all of Secret Surgery’s customers and associates for their ongoing support and messages at this time. Rest assured that in my absence, the company will continue moving forward, despite my decision to adopt a less visible presence. There are a number of exciting developments ahead for the company and I can’t wait to share them with you when the time is right. Please note that in spite of my hiatus, I will still be fulfilling all pre-arranged commitments including meetings and scheduled trips.
Finally, some good news has arrived this week amidst all the turmoil: I have verbal confirmation that the hospital’s insurance company has completed its Investigations. It pertains to the claim that was filed by the disgruntled woman whose harassment campaign caused this maelstrom. The independent panel’s findings have revealed that during the woman’s hospital stay, everything was conducted professionally, ethically and within normal parameters. The panel has cleared both the surgeon and the hospital of any form of malpractice, vindicating everything I have said about this spurious claim from the outset. In spite of these findings, I don’t expect the harassment to stop sadly – the woman in question has some serious personal issues, and it will take more than a legal letter to quell her campaign.
Throughout this ordeal, I have done my utmost to bite my tongue and refrain from speaking my mind. Trust me, when you’re facing an individual who is hell-bent on destroying your business, your family life and everything you’ve worked for, this isn’t easy. I am a businesswoman and a mother and I will fight to defend the things that I hold dear. This means taking an aggressive stance against any opportunists friends of said person who believe they can join her campaign or blackmail to extort me with the threat of going to the press to tell tall tales.
Should an individual ever have cause to file a genuine claim against Secret Surgery, the matter will be thoroughly investigated and the claimant will be treated with the utmost respect throughout the process. This situation has really identified a few money-grabbers, pathological liars and charlatans; none of which will be given the time of day.
While 2013 has been something of an annus horribilis, I will emerge from it stronger, wiser and better prepared for whatever life may care to throw at me.
Thank you once again for taking the time to read this and for your continued support. It means everything!
Yep, more magazine news, but this time it’s not Real People – but keep your eyes out next week for more details on that, too! Today, we’re letting you know that Secret Surgery, and our beautiful founder, Angela Chouaib, have been featured in glamorous women’s mag, Essentials!
You’ll find us in the October edition of the magazine, so get ready to get buying! The feature is all about the women who opt for cosmetic surgery, and how popular procedures are becoming with ordinary women. No longer is cosmetic surgery something reserved only for the richest and most powerful of Hollywood; now, for just a few thousand pounds, you can look like the person you’ve always felt like on the inside.
Angela Chouaib, Secret Surgery’s founder and MD, has been featured in the article as one of the glamorous girls who has undergone surgery. Angela had bariatric surgery years ago, and has recently opted for a thigh lift. She’s not only Secret Surgery’s founder, but she’s one of our patients, too!
For more gossip and glam, make sure you buy the October edition of Essentials… it’s… essential!
There have been rumours about the risks and dangers of surgery abroad for a long time, and the recent surgery abroad feature in Real People magazine has done its best to put some of these rumours to rest. Want to know the difference between FACT and FICTION? Read on below to find out what our favourite untrue surgery abroad rumours are:
- Patients are rich jet-setters. FALSE. Most of our patients are normal working people on normal working wages.
- Surgery abroad often goes wrong. FALSE. In a Leeds University study, only two participants weren’t happy with the results.
- Patients choose clinics based in countries where they can speak the language. FALSE. Actually, most patients aren’t that well-travelled and usually speak only English.
If you want to know more about not just Secret Surgery, but surgery abroad in general, then be sure to pick up the latest copy of Real People magazine, which should be in your local shops! We’ve spilled all the gossip on what overseas surgery is REALLY like!