I have joined the world of medical tourism, getting some major dental work done this week in Hungary.  There are few accurate figures estimates on how many people are travelling to countries other than their own for health care procedures but it is thought to be in the millions. The most common procedures are dentistry and cosmetic surgery but eye care is also popular and some people opt to travel overseas for major surgical procedures because of pricing. The top countries for medical tourists are: Brazil, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey.

It is estimated that in 2011, between 70 and 80 thousand people travelled to Hungary for dental treatment generating revenues worth $600 million in Hungarian dental surgeries and hotels.

Why have I joined the trend? Because I have found a brilliant dentist with fees 70% less than at home. Plus I have good family support here in Hungary which can be important – particularly if something goes wrong.  I will spare you photos of my teeth in progress but will give you an update on the medical tourism experience.

Your home medical insurance scheme (whether Government or private)  usually won’t cover treatment costs out of your  country. Nor does travel insurance cover such medical care unless you have an emergency while traveling. So breaking a tooth while on a trip, may be covered by your travel insurer but flying to Hungary from your country specifically to have a  broken tooth repaired will generally not be covered -as it is viewed as a pre existing condition. Check with your insurer(s) for details.

I flew here via Istanbul with Turkish airlines- have to say an outstanding experience. Check out my Trip Report Tuesday. After the first stage of my dental work, you will find me in Ireland and England. I get to fly for the first time into London City Airport.

Any other medical tourists want to share their experience?

Useful Links

The Health Tourism Blog

Treatment Abroad.com

 

 

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  • Lee said,

    Yes, I too had my Dental exam,cleaning & filling performed in 2 hrs in Bangkok for a princely sum of $75. Made same day appointment on the ground, but could have done it online beforehand. This was done as part of my travel through Thailand.

  • Angelina said,

    very cool. I plan on getting a complete smile makeover in the Philippines soon!

  • Jimgotkp said,

    Whenever I go to Korea to see my family, I also get some dental work done. It’s so much cheaper than what they charge in the States especially for gold crowns.

  • David Williams said,

    Have had great dental work actually in Bali at a place called Bali Dental 911. Under $300 for a crown and root canal, and the crown was ready in two day VS three weeks and $1,300 here in the states. I know a lot of people love going to Bali so if you are headed that way have dental issues this is the place to go I can tell you that about 80% of patients at this dental clinic are expats and medical tourists from down under.

  • Jay said,

    Dad went to India to have eye surgery and when he had an abdominal hernia.
    Top notch hospitals with top notch doctors at 1/10th the cost.

    It helps that we’re Indian and have our own house in India.

  • Aubrey said,

    Had laser surgery on both eyes a while back in Bangkok. The hospital was fantastic (there are two or three very good international hospitals)and my doctor/surgeon was a truly amazing man. Of course, all for a fraction of the cost and you get a few days in the Thai capital. Marvellous.

  • Beryl said,

    Although you are right about local medical insurance and general travel insurance not covering expenses when your trip is specifically for a particular medical procedure, there is a company that is based in Sydney that offers medical insurance specifically for procedures that are not covered by local medical insurance. The trend of traveling to other countries for medical procedures is growing in popularity as there are many people who recognize the financial benefits. A bonus is having family or friends to support you during the procedure in the foreign country.

  • Erno Horvath said,

    Nice to see you have a good experience in Hungary. Batorfi Clinic is one of the best dental clinics in Hungary. Trust me I’m a Hungarian :)

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