[Dental care for foreigners in Hungary].

Abstract

High quality elective dental care for foreign patients was not exceptional in Hungary before the collapse of the old regime in 1989. Nevertheless, it became business as usual only in the new era thanks to the open state borders and the international competitive market environment. Unfortunately, no scientific study concerning this phenomenon has been conducted so far, however its professional and economic significance has been indicated by day-to-day experience. Additionally, the term "dental tourism" also used in international scientific papers became a commonplace in Hungary with unfavourable connotations. The present survey was the first to study this phenomenon by scientific standards in the most involved areas, namely in the capital city Budapest and in three counties in the Western Hungarian Region. Data collecting was performed by a self-reported questionnaire sent via conventional mail to all members of the Dental Section of the Hungarian Medical Chamber practicing in those indicated regions. Respond rates were 20.65% in Budapest and 25.34% in Western Hungary. The sample obtained this way, clearly indicated dimensions of cross-border patient migration and its economic significance as well. In Western Hungary 80.81% of foreign patients came from the neighbouring Austria and two out of ten practices realized 40 to 100% of their income out of this business. In Budapest foreign patients' nationality was more diversified. The largest group arrived from the United Kingdom (9.93%). Nevertheless the economic impact of dental tourism in Budapest is not relevant and outbalanced by a considerable domestic demand on the local private market.

Cite this paper

@article{Balzs2008DentalCF, title={[Dental care for foreigners in Hungary].}, author={P{\'e}ter Bal{\'a}zs and August Oesterle}, journal={Fogorvosi szemle}, year={2008}, volume={101 5}, pages={193-202} }