When comedy actress Chris Reuter made a decision to travel from Berlin to Hungary for a complex dental procedure, little did she recognize that she was going to set a little economic engine in motion. A minumum of one airline, one hotel and some restaurants in Budapest, the spa centers she visited, her dentist at the Hungarian clinic, the German agency who had organized her trip – each of them got their share of the cake. And let’s remember the publisher of the goulash cookbook she’s taken home as souvenir.
Medical tourism, making up about 5 percent of most international and domestic arrivals to the EU, is likely to grow exponentially, in accordance with a scholarly study published by the European Parliament. Since 2014 especially, following European Directive on Cross-Border Healthcare, that allows EU citizens to get medical care in virtually any other member state. For the time being, the revenues generated by health tourism at the EU level total about €47 billion ($54.3 billion), which represents 0.33 percent of the entire GDP of the 28 EU states.
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For Chris your choice was simple, although she had never gone to Hungary before: way lower charges for her new smile, high medical standards, “greater respect for pain” as she says, doctors who speak fluent German. And all of this in Budapest’s spectacular setting. Obviously, Chris’ German medical health insurance had nothing to object to, since her choice resulted in much for them, too: “There have been no problems at all with medical insurance. The clinic in Hungary sent the estimate of costs to Germany and I received the permit per fax on a single day. The expenses were covered as though I had done it in Germany exactly,” the actress told DW.
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European ‘mecca’ for dental treatments
Hungary is definitely a stylish destination for tourists seeking health care and wellness treatments. However in modern times it is among the most European hotspot for dentistry. At the very least for the Northern and Western Europeans, who generally need to pay about 50 to 80 percent more for a dental care in the home. Chris Reuter’s treatment in Budapest has been arranged by “Zahnklinik Ungarn,” a German agency located in Potsdam, which has facilitated  already;over 20,000 trips for dental treatments to Hungary, for German and Swiss patients.
With 6,083 employed dentists in 2016, in accordance with statista.com, the real amount of dental clinics is increasing in Budapest, however in other towns nearer to the Austrian border also. The tiny town of Mosonmagyarorvar, with a population of 32 roughly,000 inhabitants, has were able to make taking care of teeth big business: the city has set a global record with the best density of dental practices per capita: in 2014, over 150 practices and three big dental clinics were prepared to receive patients. And the offer is perfectly customized: a lot of the personnel speak English and German: “I was very impressed by the clinic,” Chris Reuter remembers. “Individuals are really nice plus they all speak German. You’re being treated just like a private patient.”
Money isn’t everything
The feeling to be treated such as a private patient has been drawing Iasmina Carstea also, an economist from neighboring Romania, to the clinics in Szeged, a populous city in southeastern Hungary. “I’ll elect to visit the doctors in Hungary always,” she told DW. “I’m scared of the high incidence of hospital-acquired infections in Romania. Besides, the Hungarian clinics have better I&rsquo and technology; m impressed by the professionalism and friendliness of the staff &ndash highly; from doorman to director.”
So at another end of the country’s map, the Hungarian medical system offers customer-tailored services for another clientele: “At the clinics I’m likely to, all patients are Romanians almost. A number of the staff has learned Romanian, but should they can’t explain something, they might use Google Translate just,” Iasmina recalls.
The living standards are higher in Hungary than in Romania, so unlike in the entire case of German or Austrian medical tourists, costs aren’t a motivation for the Romanian patients seeking treatment in the neighboring country.
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Bathing where in fact the Romans did
every cent is well spent
But, says Lorena Garoiu, a Romanian painter who would go to Budapest. She’s chosen another kind of healing: spa therapy. “The thermal waters at the Gellert Baths have already been good for my two slipped discs. I’ve felt a noticable difference from the first time. Those waters have healing properties really,” Lorena told DW.
In fact, 60 percent of the tourists arriving at Budapest pick the populous city because of its wellness and spa offers, Szilvia Czinege, head of marketing at Budapest Spas told DW. Not merely may be the national country a hotspot for dental clinics, however in Budapest alone, you can find over 100 natural springs, a few of which were used since ancient Roman times.
In 2017, the national country welcomed 2.5 million medical and wellness tourists, in line with the Hungarian Statistical Office (KSH). Cosmetic surgery, laser eye surgery and obstetrics are popular among foreign health tourists arriving at Hungary also.
The Berlin comedy actress made a decision to go back to Budapest with her husband for a follow-up visit twelve months later. No dental drills this right time, only architecture, spa and goulash: “The task is a success. My doctor in Berlin is fairly envious because he doesn’t need to repair anything,” Chris told DW, with a bright smile on her behalf face.
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