A clinic in India is now offering free breast implants and hand transplants to the poor
An Indian state health department is now offering free, publicly-funded breast implants
The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has just become the first in the world to offer free, publicly-funded breast implants to men and women.
According to the Guardian, the state health department launched the free service at a clinic in the capital of Chennai, last Wednesday.
‘Why should beauty treatments not be available to the poor?’ asled C Vijaya Baskar, the state health minister.
‘If we don’t offer [the procedure for free], they may opt for dangerous methods or take huge loans for it.’
The publication reports the clinic has been providing breast reconstruction surgery for cancer patients, but has now extended the service to people who want to change the size of their breasts for other health or cosmetics reasons.
The clinic will now also be providing free cleft-lip surgeries for children, and hand transplants, among other procedures.
The head of plastic surgery at the clinic, Dr V Ramadevi, said some of her patients sought breast reductions to alleviate shoulder and back pain, while others wanted to augment or shrink their breasts for self-confidence reasons.
‘There is a psychological benefit. Many girls who have larger breasts don’t like to go out. There is no reason this surgery should be restricted from the poor,’ she told the publication.
However, not everyone is impressed by the clinic’s new scheme.
Former public health director for the state, Dr. S Elango, told the Times of India, per The Guardian: ‘[It] sounds populist, but it is not an ideal public health program.
‘State funds are required for emerging non-communicable diseases and communicable diseases. It is sad that we are now focusing on beauty instead of life-saving surgeries.’
The number of breast augmentations has dramatically increased in recent years.
According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there were approximately 33,000 breast surgeries carried out in India in 2016, the most recent year it published statistics, versus about 50,600 procedures in 2010.
From: ELLE UK