Scottish holidaymakers are swapping hours on the beach for time under the surgeon's knife, according to one travel firm.
According to Globe Health Tours, which was initially established to organise stag parties but has now branched out into medical tourism, a growing number of health tourists are travelling to India for private surgery.
Dental treatment is proving to be particularly popular, as are elective procedures such as hip and knee replacements and cosmetic surgery – and the majority are available at a fraction of the UK cost.
One of the firm's directors, Sholto Ramsay, told Scotland on Sunday that many people were approaching the company because they were "sick of the NHS waiting list".
"This is not for you if your only thought is to save money," he revealed. "But it does work if you are thinking about having a holiday."
Patients opting to have a hip or knee replacement in the UK might expect to spend up to £10,000.
However, the same procedure in India would cost under £3,500, leaving a substantial sum of money with which to pay for flights and accommodation and to enjoy the country.
"If you are getting dental implants, for example, it's one day of surgery then the next day you have pretty much got over it and you can have a few days of holiday," the director explained.
Mr Ramsay added that medical tourism would also suit people who want cosmetic surgery, such as a tummy tuck or a nose job, but who don't want people at home to know about it.
© Adfero Ltd
Treatment abroad news : 11/12/2006