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Medical Tourism - Destination - Hungary

General Informations

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Hungary
Location Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia.
Capital Budapest
Biggest cities (population) Budapest (1,721,556), Debrecen (207,270), Szeged (169,731)
Inhabitants 10,013,000
Politics Parliamentary representative democratic republic,
Religion Roman Catholic 51.9%, Calvinist 15.9%, Lutheran 3%, Greek Catholic 2.6%, Christian 1%, other or unspecified 11.1% and unaffiliated 14.5%
Currency Hungarian Forint
GDP $129.4 billion (2009)
Official language(s) Hungarian
Climate Temperate, cold, cloudy, humid winters and warm summers
Time zone GMT+ 1
Happy Planet Index (HPI) 121

Cultural Aspects

General Culture

The republic of Hungary is situated in East-Central Europe. The official language is Hungarian. Its capital is Budapest, which is divided in two sections by the Danube River. Since 2004, Hungary has been a member of the European Union. Hungary has an intelligent, hard-working population with a rich and vibrant culture. It is a very interesting and destination of the new Europe.

Safety

Hungary ranks 20 in the GPI, this shows that is a relatively safe country.

Tourists Attractions and Sights

  • Sopron: this is medieval city is a gateway to the stunning Lövér Hills.
  • Esztergom: the setting of the Roman Catholicism in Hungary and the site of the nation’s most important cathedral.
  • Visegrád: the site of a medieval hilltop castle, with impressive views of the Danube.
  • Budapest: the nation’s capital and a city full of culture, clubs and cafés.
  • Hollókö: a hidden village representing the rich folk traditions that are important to Hungary.

Visa Requirements

Non-European nationals will need a passport valid for at least 90 days following the departure date from Hungary. Foreigners planning to visit Hungary for a period longer than 90 days, or with the purpose of employment, should apply for a visa. EU nationals staying longer than 90 days will need to register at the immigration department. Nationals of Australia, Canada and the USA staying longer than 90 days will need to apply for a long-stay visa.

Infrastructure

Transportation

Hungary possesses an excellent public transportation system. The railway system is state-owned and operated, connecting all major cities in Hungary as well as a large number of international destinations. Hungary has 188,203 kilometres of highways, of which 81,680 kilometres are paved and a mere 438 kilometres are expressways. Hungary also has 1,373 kilometres of permanently navigable waterways, including the Danube River flowing north to south through the centre of the country. The Danube is a low-cost way to transport passengers and a large portion of, domestic freight. There are five major international airports in Hungary. The largest airport is the Budapest Ferihegy International Airport.

Accommodation

n Hungary there is a wide range of accommodation types. It varies from low budget hostels up to five star hotels. The major hotel chains present in Hungary are; Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Accor Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Kempinski, Four Seasons, and Golden Tulip Hospitality Group.

Health Care System

WHO ranking 66
Physicians per 10,000 population 28
Nurses per 10,000 population 92
GDP spent on health care 7.4%
Education period of doctors 6 years
Education period of specialists 3-7 years

Health Care Providers

In 1993, the national healthcare fund was created, which is based on the social insurance system. The public organisation is currently controlling the management of the healthcare in Hungary. 83% of the financing for the healthcare comes from taxes and other public revenues.

Participation in the insurance scheme is obligatory for everyone in the workforce, including also the self-employed. “Medically necessary” treatment are provided free of charge for European citizens in the country.

Insurance

Hungary’s healthcare system is financed through the Health Insurance Fund (HIF) which is primarily responsible for healthcare costs. Health insurance contributions are collected from employees, paying 3% of their total income, and employers paying 15% of the employees’ gross salary plus a lump sum tax or ‘healthcare contribution’. The population also pays local and national income tax, which helps to finance the investment costs of healthcare. Patients make co-payments on certain services, including pharmaceuticals, dental care and rehabilitation.

Top Facilities

Hospitals and clinics are locally accredited and licensed by the Hungarian Ministry of Health, the State National Health Commission and the Medical Service. Due to the fact that there are no JCI-accredited hospitals in Hungary, our prime selection criteria, the following institutions, recommended by “The medical tourism travel guide book 2008”, were taken into our research

  • Dr. Volom, Aesthetic and General Dental Surgery
  • Beauty Hungary Medical Clinic
  • Buda Health Center

General Medical Tourism Information

Hungary is a well-known medical tourism destination in Europe, attracting medical tourists from the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Scandinavia and other Western European countries seeking affordable dental and cosmetic treatment. The prices of the treatment in Hungary are usually lower than in Western European countries.

Hospitals catering to medical tourists are mostly small ones. The majority of the high quality hospitals and clinics in Hungary are managed by the private sector. These private hospitals are equipped with the latest technology and facilities to accommodate its patients. This is due to the demands set by the German and Austrian patients, who represent the major medical tourism streams. Nevertheless, there are also well known, government owned, hospitals.

Currently, there are no JCI accredited hospitals or clinics in Hungary. Hospitals and clinics are locally accredited and licensed by the Hungarian Ministry of Health and the State National Health Commission and Medical Service. However, these hospitals are recognized by the Care Quality Commission in the UK and the rest of the European Union, and some have been certified by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

The BBC stated in a report that a million medical tourists from Austria went to Hungary in order to undergo dental treatment, and around 35,000 of them came from the UK.

Referring to the Techniker Krankenkasse survey, medical tourists choosing dental treatment consider cost savings as one of the most important reasons in the decision making process.

Steams

The two main streams travelling to Hungary are Germans and Austrians, followed by British, Scandinavian and Italian patients.

Reasons

  • Affordable dental and cosmetic treatment
  • Great value for money with regard to customized service
  • Proximity to the most important outbound countries
  • English and German speaking doctors
  • Hungary is a member of the EU
  • Cultural aspects

Spezialisation

  • Dental
  • Cosmetic
  • Eye surgery

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Dental and cosmetic surgery procedures at very cost-effective prices
  • State-of-the-art medical and healthcare facilities comparable to top international standards
  • English and German speaking, highly trained and qualifi ed medical specialists
  • Affordable accommodation and a favourable tourist destination
  • Close proximity to the European and Middle Eastern countries
  • Cheap fl ights to Budapest
  • There are 85 different thermal Spas recognized by the Hungarian Ministry of Health
  • Hungary is a member of the EU
  • Lack of International accreditation including the JCI in the majority of hospitals and clinics
  • Malpractice compensation is relatively low compared to Western Europe
  • There is a limited number of major hospitals catering to international patients
  • Most of the market is served by small clinics
  • Hungary is not part of the European Monetary Union

Conclusion

Hungary has developed to be an important European player in the medical tourism industry over the past years. It is famous for its dental and cosmetic treatment at affordable price levels. German and Austrian patients have been the major target groups travelling to Hungary to undergo medical treatment. This is because of the proximity, affordability and the combination of a treatment with a holiday. Furthermore Hungary is rich in culture, offering many attractions for tourists. The hospitals in Hungary are equipped with the latest technologies and facilities to accommodate their patients.

Top Facility Chart

Hungary Dr. Volom Aesthetic and General Dental Surgery Beauty Hungary Medical Clinic Buda Health Center
Location and website Budapest www.dreamsmile.hu Budapest www.beautyhungary.com Budapest www.en.bhc.hu
Accreditations or certifications - TA, TUV and SGS SGS
Capacity of hospital beds 0, but works together with local hotels 0, but works together with local hotels 0, but works together with local hotels
Possible for accompanying person to stay in room N/A N/A N/A
Medical tourists Yes Yes Yes
Number of medical staff doctors/nurses 1 dentist, 3 hygienists 8 surgeons and 9 dentists >105 physicians
Type of rooms available (prices) No rooms available, prices for treatments are on the website No rooms available, prices for treatments are on the website No rooms available, prices for treatments are on the website
International patient department The whole practice is focused on international patients Yes and consultancy offi ces in London and Dublin. Yes
Adaptations to cultures - - -
Languages spoken by staff English, German and Hungarian English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and German English and Hungarian
Marketing of the facility/USP Offers the full dentist package and gives guarantees Focus on medical tourism with possibility of consultancy in home country and extra free services Works together with several clinics in Hungary and with big multinationals
Specialisations Every service concerning dental care Dentistry, cosmetic surgery and eye vision correction Internal medicine, dermatology, gastroenterology, plastic surgery and many more specialities

Price Chart (in €uro)

Treatment Average price in Euro
Botox treatment 250
Breast augmentation 1,900
Facelift 2,400
Liposuction 700
Dental implants 600
Rhinoplasty 1,525
Lasik eye surgery per eye 750