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Budapest Health Care

Health Care is always an issue when traveling. Because we spend so much time in Budapest I have a cardiologist in Budapest. Because it is so much cheaper I also have a Dentist in Budapest. Another sizable market in Budapest is Hair Transplants. But that’s another story.

On 28 December my wife told me that she had what appeared to be a minor subcutaneous infection. The evening of 29 December it had grown considerably and turned extremely painful. I called FIRST MED, a private clinic in Buda and made an appointment to have her seen at 9am the following morning. On 30 December we arrived at about 8:45. Shortly before 9am we were taken to an exam room for a history and vitals. At 9am the Doctor escorted my wife to an exam room. The doctor was alarmed at the state of the infection and called a surgeon. We went downstairs and had a cup of coffee and returned at 11:30 for a noon appointment with the surgeon. The procedure started about 11:45 and ended about 15 minutes later. We returned on New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day for dressing changes; each done by the doctor at the time assigned for the appointment. The cost was about that which I would have had to pay out of pocket on my “Affordable” Health Care plan. The major differences between care in Budapest and care in the US was the promptness, politeness, caring, consideration and general all around quality of the service and care in Budapest surpassed anything we had ever experienced in the US. I attribute it to the free market less regulated system for private health care that exists in Hungary. OR, maybe they are just special.

First Med http://firstmedcenters.com/
About a $8.50 taxi fare from the Opera House or you can reach it on the 4/6 tram.

Posted by
6543 posts

With the advent of budget European airlines has brought medical tourism to places like Budapest.

The city has a large number of European and British citizens coming in there for many medical procedures.
I've read the quality of healthcare is on par with the U.S., and the prices for crowns, partials and other dental procedures to be just great.

Posted by
11015 posts

I've always felt pretty comfortable with the care in Budapest, but this recent experience cemented it. But there are some differences. My dentist for instance has a surgery about the size of a small walk in closet, but she's good, its clean, professional and the prices cant be beat. Most interesting in all of these contacts with the medical world is that they discuss options and costs in advance whenever possible. If the US Govt would allow it I could save well over $1,000 on medications each year by buying them in Budapest, but that isn't legal in the US.

Posted by
2525 posts

"The major differences between care in Budapest and care in the US was the promptness, politeness, caring, consideration and general all around quality of the service and care in Budapest surpassed anything we had ever experienced in the US." I am feeling darned smug as I experience the great qualities of medical care identified above without leaving my town. Thanks, James.

Posted by
11015 posts

Bruce, I understand. I guess I wrote that in part out of frustration. We arrived home last night and today my wife and I headed to the local clinic to have the Hungarian medical work examined. The major chain of Doc in the Boxes here doesn't take appointments. We waited 45 minutes in the waiting room then 45 minutes in the exam room, then a coarse uncaring doctor just did his duty and walked out. But I do have good friends that are physicians in the US. They complain about all of the pressures on their profession that have created a less then stellar atmosphere for US patients. Also to be noted, in Budapest we went to a Cash Clinic in a socialist environment. If we had worked within the Socialist Healthcare System I bet we would have left with a very different perception. Also, given the choice, if the issue were life threatening there is no place I would rather be for care than in the US. As the boutique clinics open in the US I think we will have other options.

So, I offer the above to provide a little balance to my first statement.

Posted by
11015 posts

Worldinbetween, fewer lawyers opens more opportunities. You can pet the rhinos at the zoo too.

Posted by
12123 posts

Keep in mind also that there are those Hungarian medical personnel (the docs, nurses, etc) who did their studies in US universities and med. schools. It is not inconceivable to find an Hungarian specialist in the med field who studied at Harvard, etc. and, obviously, is fluent in English, among other languages.

Posted by
11015 posts

Fred, we had Hungarian educated doctors. We came in contact with three in total. One of the three was trained prior to the change so there is no US connection there. I just looked at the resumes of the first 8 doctors on their staff list.

All 8 graduated from medical school in Hungary,
One had further education in the US
One had further training in the US
One did her residency in the U.S.

One had further education in Romania.

So there isn’t a real strong connection to the US. As for the fact that they all speak English; it is pretty much the language of higher education in a lot of the world. I have made a lot of acquaintances over the years and have come to expect that anyone under 40 with a university education will speak pretty decent to fluent English.

Posted by
844 posts

James,

Glad to hear that your wife's problem was taken care of promptly in Budapest and hope that she is doing well!

Mimi

Posted by
6543 posts

If you look closely at the internet, you can see patient ratings of Budapest physicians (and even some other countries like Mexico.) With inexpensive flights from the U.K., medical tourism is rampant.
If someone was going to have dental implants and/or bridges, they may afford to pay a flight to Budapest, pay for the procedures and come out ahead--with a vacation to boot.

Or, if someone's traveling Europe already and they need dental work or even a crown, Budapest would be a good stop along the way.

Posted by
207 posts

Went to a clinic in Buda (about ten minutes from Chain Bridge) in late November to have ten stitches removed from my head. Friendly, caring, efficient... in and out in less than one half hour. Cost 17 Euros.