The Hungarian government just released plans to put 1 billion forint (roughly 3 million Euros) into the dental tourism market, as it has been generating so much revenue for Hungary. Perhaps the first sensible business decision that FIDESZ has made since its inauguration in 2008, this news has been very well received by the Hungarian dentists and dental clinics that make most of their money from foreign patients visiting to save money.
Dental tourism in Hungary
Hungary is the capital of European dental treatment abroad, receiving some 40% of the entire continents medical travellers. This is because the industry started up decades ago, and the service is so incredibly high class. Most patients from the US and UK report that the clinics were better, and the service higher quality than what they would have received at home, according to a recent article* that extols the benefits of dental treatment abroad. What’s more, some dental clinics receive up to 80% of their revenue from foreign visitors, and have made steps to accommodate them. Not only is the service extremely good, but it is extremely cheap as well; literally a fraction of the price, with the average Western European patient paying only around 40% of the fee they would, after accommodations and air fees have been calculated.
Aiding and abetting
This industry rakes in a whopping 65-70 billion forint each year, which is one of the biggest industries in the country, with some 13-16 billion forint generated only in industries around the dental tourism industry in Hungary, like in motels, hotels and taxis. The government has thus pledged a 1 billion forint investment for dentistries that receive foreign patients, and another 3.5 billion forint tax hike for successful clinics in Hungary. This is very good news, and hopefully will actually come to pass in a timely fashion, as this would strengthen the already powerful dental tourism industry, and perhaps could generate even more revenue for the country to spend on its many social inadequacies and underfunded public health care program. We shall see, but the NKA, the ministry responsible for appropriating government funds as aid to cultural and scientific developments has already allocated the money, which is certainly a good start.