Hungarian Tourism plc is now actively promoting medical tourism globally, but targeted mostly at Western Europe.
Hungary is one of the flagship countries of European medical tourism. A quarter of all medical students at Hungarian universities come from abroad, and many Hungarian specialists teach and practice internationally. The main reasons for Hungary’s leading role in European medical tourism are long experience and practice in the international market.
The success story began in the eighties, when Hungary was a popular destination for German and Austrian patients seeking top-quality dentistry and dental prosthetic services of Swiss standards. Since Hungary joined the European Union, medical tourism has become more varied and more international.
The cost of treatment is between 40% and 70% of the cost in the UK, USA and Scandinavian countries. The most popular treatments and procedures for international patients are dentistry, cosmetic surgery, orthopaedic surgery, cardiac rehabilitation, fertility treatment, dermatology, anti-aging treatment, obesity treatment, addiction programmes and eye surgery.
Hungary is easily accessed by low-cost flights from all over Europe. It has the lowest MRSA rates on the continent. Hungary has a number of accreditation and license schemes applying to its institutions, such as the domestic accreditation schemes from the Hungarian Ministry of Health, and the National Health Commission and Medical Service. Several clinics run medical tourism programmes and packages, organising the entire trip including flights, accommodation, transfers and treatments.
There is no age limit by Hungarian law, so even single women can have fertility treatment, and all sperm donors are anonymous. There is no waiting list for IVF. Most of the patients have the first initial consultation with the fertility specialist within a month of first contact.
The country is trying to get away from its image as purely a dental treatment country, so is heavily promoting cosmetic surgery, eye treatment, fertility treatment, anti-aging treatment, and more.
It is not forgetting the important and historic spa, wellness and health tourism angle too. Linking with medical tourism, it is promoting medical spas.
Hungary has more medical spas than anywhere in Europe, A medical spa uses water rich in minerals that medical tests clearly show has health benefits. Thermal water is any naturally occurring spring that emerges at a temperature exceeding 30°C. Balneotherapy is the treatment of a medical condition with water from a medicinal spring – particularly water with high concentrations of dissolved minerals and sediment. Balneotherapy is combined with physiotherapy, electrotherapy and therapeutic massage. This is complemented by related treatments, including drinking cures and inhalation.
Budapest is a spa capital, and there are many type of spas from historic Turkish and Roman to medical and party spas. The country sits on one of the richest geothermal and medicinal water resources in the world. Hungarian springs have supported a bathing culture dating back to Roman times.