Medical Tourism in Europe

by Sarah Freeland - Date: 2006-11-30 - Word Count: 246 Share This!

Over the past two decades, Eastern Europe has emerged as a significant and popular destination for health tourism. Its well-established medical infrastructure built around prominent research hospitals, as well as its proximity, first encouraged West Europeans to consider dental treatments and cosmetic surgery vacations in the East. Shortly afterward, Americans began to follow.

Specialized travel agencies offered dental treatments, without the high cost and bureaucratic procedures that their own national health service entails. Prices were so much lower that clients from the UK would fly out, undergo their dental treatment, spend some time sight-seeing, and then return home.

Dr. Bela Batorf of the British Hungarian Medical Association told the BBC: "our prices are a third or less than English prices." Of her trip to Budapest, Sue Smities said, "The only thing we had to pay for was the flight and overnight accommodation. The consultation, x-ray, and CT scan were all free."

West Europeans traveled to Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Poland for spa treatments as well as biomedical interventions. Both Budapest and Prague offer thermal springs and spa facilities, with treatments such as hydrotherapy and water massage, as well as aesthetic surgeries.

The same factors that make healthcare in East Europe so appealing to patients, make a short vacation to recuperate from their surgery seem a good idea as well. The national airlines of East European countries offer competitive airfares. Patients find a short stay enjoying Budapest, Prague, or Warsaw a good value, as they enjoy these cities' many attractions.

Related Tags: health, travel, dental, medical, europe, surgery, hospital, packages, surgical, agencies, spa, prague, british

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