State funding supports dental tourism to Hungary

 

Hungarian dentists who target foreign patients have so far received 12.4 million Euros in European Union and state funding available under a scheme that supports the development of dental tourism in Hungary.

The targeted funding from the National Development Agency’s Economic Development Operative Programme and the Central Hungary Operative Programme has so far supported 136 dental practices, and up to 20 requests are pending. The Central Hungary Operative Programme is co-funded by The European Regional Development Fund.

In 2013, dental clinics participating in the government’s Dental Tourism Development programme reported an overall increase of more than 19% in turnover. Many of the clinics are in Budapest.

The opposition party Democratic Coalition has attacked the dental tourism development programme’s funding process as unfair. It claims that access to grants is only given to those enterprises which pay HUF 1.5 million in annual membership fees to Orvosi Turizmus Iroda Zrt, a private company run by Laszlo Szűcs and Bela Batorfi. Some leading clinics have refused to take part due to this restriction.

Being a registered member of the Hungarian Dental Tourism Development Programme is a condition for any application for innovation funds – as this is the only way national targets can be achieved due to their complexity. The programme aims to triple the number of patients visiting Hungary in five years, to stop the exodus of Hungarian dentists, and to make Hungary the worldwide leader of dental tourism by the end of 2015.

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