Budapest can be proud to be one of the most significant medical tourism centres of the world. Apart its unique thermal and medical baths and spas, various healthcare services also attract tens of thousands of health tourists to Budapest each year and their number constantly increasing as health tourism sector is still in its developing period.
Most tourists coming to Budapest require dental treatment, but there is a growing demand for other medical services such as eyesight correction, hair transplantation or elective cosmetic surgery. In highly developed countries treatment costs are very expensive, waiting lists are full weeks or even months in advance, therefore patients are more and more likely to get treatments abroad. This way they can not only save up to 75% of the costs, but they can combine their medical treatment with a marvellous family trip.
Taking any medical treatment is always risky, no matter at home or in a foreign country, most clinics abroad follow strict health guidelines and rules, so they are totally reliable, very often more than clinics in the US or in the UK. Hungarian service providers and the government have to work together to increase the number of international patients.
Hungary is a reliable medical tourist destination
They have to outline the brand image of Hungary to put the country on the world map as a serious and reliable medical tourist destination. In 2012 approx. 1,6 million clients travelled overseas for healthcare from the United States alone. This number may rise by 20% each and every year as the majority of Americans is not satisfied with the level of medical treatment in their country.
It is very important for dental and hair clinics to work closely with facilitators, this way they can attract more and more foreign patients and increase customer satisfaction and cost-effectiveness as well. Just sitting in the lobby of the clinic and waiting for patients to come is not enough to prosper. Effective and aggressive marketing strategies are needed to gain advantage over competitors. However, most clinics cannot afford the required human resources to successfully attract clients from abroad.
Secondly the best advertisers are the patients themselves, when they return home after a successful treatment and they report their experience to friends and relatives. So clinics must pay a great attention to provide a pleasant atmosphere from the arrival along the whole procedure. The best advertising is by word of mouth by satisfied patients returning home.
Plastic surgery clients stay 1 to 3 weeks on average and spend approximately 4000 – 5000 Euros in our country. These visitors can save 40-80% on medical expenes depending on the type of surgery ordered.
And thirdly, Hungary has to be present in the international healthcare industry by participating in conferences, exhibitions etc. The government, the clinincs and all related agencies have to work together to promote Hungary as a top medical tourist destination. Other countries with less capabilites but much better marketing tools may pass us by.