Doctor Lopez
Doctor Lopez

Juan Antonio López: «Aesthetic medicine is consolidated within the Spain brand»

On the occasion of the publication made by the Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicine (SEME) of the 'Study of socioeconomic impact and penetration of Aesthetic Medicine in Spain', Health Act has conducted an interview with the member of the Board of Directors of said company, Dr. Juan Antonio Lopez, who highlights that Aesthetic Medicine is consolidated as “the attractive sector within the Spain brand.”

Juan Antonio Lopez

Acta Sanitaria (AS).- What is the current situation of Aesthetic Medicine in Spain? What position does it occupy compared to other European and South American countries, where there is a high level of interventions in this area?

Juan Antonio López (JAL).-  Aesthetic Medicine in Spain has a high scientific level and has professionals who research and publish in international and indexed journals and who address all areas of Aesthetic Medicine. Compared to other countries, we have the advantage that training is carried out in universities, a good percentage of which are public, and not only in private schools as is the case in other regions and countries. In this way, aesthetic doctors receive training free of financial interests of third parties.

AS.- Among the main market trends in this type of Medicine, what would you highlight? What is the reason for the rise of Aesthetic Medicine in Spain?

JAL- The main trend is aimed at combining treatments to avoid exhausting the possibilities of a single technique. On many occasions, the abuse of a method with which the patient has obtained good results in the past is resorted to, which in the long run can cause unwanted or even grotesque results. Regenerative Medicine is on the rise, which uses techniques such as Platelet Rich Plasma (still questioned regarding its effects), the “regenerate” technique, lipotransfer, carboxytherapy, ozone therapy, stromal vascular fraction and the great hope, which are stem cells.

“The rise of Aesthetic Medicine was driven by the creation of the Welfare State”

AS.- What social and economic impact does this sector have in Spain? What relationship is established with the generation of new jobs?

JAL.- The rise of Aesthetic Medicine was driven by the creation of the Welfare State, now unfortunately minimized by the crisis, and the standard of living of Spanish society in the years prior to 2008. During all that time, it spread until there was a process of “normalization” and “socialization” of Aesthetic Medicine, being a health service that one in three Spaniards has already used today. Despite the profound crisis we have suffered, our patients knew how to value the importance of our services and, therefore, the trend has been increasing at almost all times.

AS.- Speaking of employment and health and aesthetic tourism, what role does Brand Spain play and what are the strong points of the Spanish offer?

JAL.- Rather than talking about health tourism, I would talk about the attraction of highly prestigious professionals, who are the point of attraction for numerous patients. In Aesthetic Medicine, trust is essential. Compared to other proposals launched from certain countries in which sun and beach vacations are offered, in addition to the desired treatment and the main claim is the price; For many patients, especially Europeans, North Americans, Russians... the great attraction is their trusted aesthetic doctor. You have to think that we have patients who remain loyal for more than 20 years and come to undergo treatments, making them coincide with their trips to Spain or "ex profeso", which is mutually beneficial and consolidates us as an attractive sector within the Spain brand. .

“Word of ear has always been the best marketing tool”

AS.- Could you indicate the main areas of health and aesthetic tourism in Spain? And why do you think they are more successful?

JAL.- Maybe they are the Costa del Sol, Valencia, Mallorca, Barcelona, Madrid... In my opinion, these patients, who come from so far away, began to know us at the time thanks to our wonderful tourist offer, but taking into account the excellent reputation of our health system and medical education, it was not a surprise that they began to trust Spanish aesthetic doctors to undergo certain treatments. “Word of ear” has always been the best marketing tool and I am sure that “good work” has been and is decisive in attracting new patients from other regions.

AS.- How many centers have authorization from the Ministry of Health to practice Aesthetic Medicine in Spain?

JAL.- We currently have over 4,000 centers, according to a study published in 2017, and an average of between five and six employees per center.

AS.- In this sense, what measures do you consider appropriate to apply to put an end to intrusion in this health field?

JAL.- Well, the legislator must clearly regulate what acts he considers specific to Aesthetic Medicine and what qualifications the specialist doctor or expert in Aesthetic Medicine should possess. Only the Ministry can define this today and, currently, we are waiting for it to be resolved.