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?