“First, do no harm”
The above phrase attributed to Hippocrates is one that all medical doctors are familiar with, although many are in some cases just in the profession for the money. While we put our utmost trust in our physicians, it is sometimes beyond their control to give us the proper care which we pay for and deserve. When it comes to the NHS (National Health Service) in the United Kingdom an argument can be made that they are not providing the medical care promised to its citizens.
Discussing the reason for the failures of the NHS would be a lengthy, although interesting conversation to have at another date. For those currently suffering in this medical purgatory we will try to provide an affordable solution for what ails you at this time. There is no panacea, but hopefully we can shed some light on solutions that give you hope.
Sir Rod Stewart NHS
The talented and generous musician Sir Rod Steward made a call into Sky New on Thursday January 31, 2023, while watching the “Your Say” segment, to simply destroy the current state of the NHS. With its waiting lines for everything from getting a scan to getting in line to see a GP, Rod did not hold back. But unlike many celebrities who talk the talk but never walk the walk, Sir Rod put his money where his mouth is and states during the conversation “I would like to pay for 10 to 20 scans, or however much it takes….”.
He went on to criticize the current government and pushed the current government (Tory) to step aside and make way for the Labor Party. As a lifelong Tory it must have been difficult for him to make that statement on live TV. Unfortunately, the situation is not that black and white, as a matter of fact, and my belief is that it would take a Herculean effort to make any significant changes for the better.
How to Navigate the NHS Issues?
Assistance from Magellan or Marco Polo would be needed to navigate this complex bureaucracy, so instead we shall keep it simple and focus on one Specialty of the NHS which will be Dental. If you do not live in the UK or involved in the Dental Industry, you will be utterly shocked and disgusted by the collapse of the services promised to the taxpayers and their families.
A perfect example of the decline in services is the ratio of NHS Dentists to the local population. In the Top 10 worst counties, there is, on average, one dentist per 3,500 people. Even if only half of those people (1,750) were looking to get a check-up, the dentist would have to see 7 patients, 5 days a week for a year. I’m sure this would be feasible except for the fact that most check-ups lead to more complicated procedures. In some areas the waiting time for a general visit is 4 years. Could you imagine what a 4-year tooth ache would do to your physical as well as mental state well-being.
The issue of dental mismanagement on the part of the NHS doesn’t stop at the inability to book an appointment. Most dental issues that are untreated lead to other medical problems which can get progressively worsen. Chronic dental issues can turn into long term health issues such as Diabetes and Heart Disease. Below is a list of other issues which are usually caused by Bacteria travelling to other parts of the body because of unaddressed dental problems.
- Gum Disease: “Gum disease is where the gums become red, swollen and sore, and bleed. It’s very common, but it’s important to get it checked by a dentist”
- Respiratory Illness: “Respiratory illness includes asthma, chronic obstruction, pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia, and lung cancer”
- Dementia: “Impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of Dementia”
- Pregnancy Complications: “Amniotic fluid complications, bleeding, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or fetal loss, placental complications, and preeclampsia or eclampsia”
- Kidney Disease: “Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a long-term condition where the Kidneys do not work as well as they should”
The above descriptions are just a very brief summary of what long-term issues are present when dental care is avoided. Please refer to your physician to address these issues or other problems.
With these conditions manifesting themselves slowly in the body, many of patients will not be aware of what is happening until they become so bad that they must be hospitalized. These are not scare tactics but the reality of the long-term problems which can, and in some cases, will occur.
What is the Solution for this NHS Fiasco?
As a citizen of the UK and patient of the NHS, you should not expect any significant and/or beneficial changes in the next few years. At the time of this article there are currently 1.2 million people who work full-time for the NHS. This number represents a staggering bureaucracy of interests and beliefs that pervade and sabotage the system. In short, hope is not a good plan, and you must figure out a workable solution.
If we are focusing on the Dental side of the NHS there are a few options which everyone can examine. The first would be to do nothing and remain at the behest of the NHS and hope your number gets called for an appointment. Those with mild or serious dental issues will just have to tough it out and hope for the best. You could always break out the pliers from the garden shed, although I would not recommend this as an option, which believe it or not has been done by many patients.
Next you could dig through your wallet, credit cards, bank account, or retirement fund and pay for a visit to a private clinic. If you decide to take this route, I will then suggest doing it as soon as possible. The more time you wait the worse your condition could become which will translate into a more costly (financial and health) down the road. You might have to forgo that trip to Spain or even 3 meals a day, but in the long run your dental visit be the right choice.
The last option is what I would call the “Goldilocks” option. This option saves you a lot of money from paying for a private UK clinic while addressing your dental issues in a timely manner. We will discuss how best to start this process and eventually receive the proper treatment you and your family deserve.
What is Medical Tourism and How does it Work?
Medical Tourism, which has been around for many years, is a simple business model which brings patients (medical tourists) to another country where they can get a less expensive elective procedure then what it would cost in their home country. Not too complicated and an option for those who do not that the financial wherewithal for a procedure done locally. All of these are elective surgeries or scheduled surgeries which are not emergency procedures.
The procedures can range from elective surgery such as face lifts, breast implants, hair transplants, dental veneers, and other cosmetic fixes. If you’re from the UK you’ve seen this with many of the B-list (Katie Price) celebrities who go to Turkey for extensive work. We will discuss the issues with Turkey later in the article but as with any industry there are those who are professionals and those who just care about the almighty $, €, and £.
The second type of patient are those who do not require emergency surgery but need the surgery, nonetheless. These can include major surgery and treatments which are too expensive in your home country or not readily available. Cancer treatments and heart surgery are some of the most popular although it’s not only limited to adults. For example, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA (CHOP) has thousands of international patients who cannot get the care they need in their home countries and are willing to travel from abroad. But as parents we all know that we would move mountains for our children!
Medical Tourism in Hungary
In the past 2 decades Hungary has become one of the leading dental holiday destinations for those in Europe and the UK. With its top-notch medical schools and low cost of living Hungary has created a niche in a widely competitive market which is affordable but with quality unmatched. As we will discuss below, Turkey, which is Hungary’s top competitors, doesn’t hold a candle to what this EU country provides.
As member of the EU (European Union) in good standing Hungary is under the same strict regulations and laws as are France, German, Italy, etc. This translates into medical services that need to follow strict guidelines for all procedures. These private dental clinics understand that all prices and services are transparent and that any type of bait and switch is illegal and punishable by fines and closure of the clinic.
Many countries use this bait and switch strategy for many medical procedures, including dental. Patients are sometimes pressured by the clinic to pay for something which they never intended. Culture also plays a large part in how patients are treated with many clinics focusing on the short-term. Turkey is notorious for this and continues this practice despite the negative press. Recourse for malpractice in Turkey is limited which adds to the continuing trouble of being made whole after an intentional or unintentional botched procedure. Do a little research to see for yourself.
The private dental clinics in Hungary provide all the procedures that you would expect from a first-class medical facility. From dentures, root canals, all-on-4 implants, and full mouth dental restoration, you will find the service and care second to none. On top of this the cost of the procedure is affordable for those who cannot pay for the onerous prices of procedures in the UK. Many of these procedures in Hungary cost approximately 30% of the price in the UK. If a procedure was £10,000 in the UK, the cost in Hungary could be around £3,000.
Many of the clinics provide accommodations and transfers to and from the airport. In some cases, the only other cost the patient needs to cover is the airfare. Unless you fly British Airways the cost of the flight is usually around £100 return. With the growth of low-budget carriers, there are plenty of options from airport in the UK to Budapest.
Conclusion – Budapest can be an alternative to NHS dentists
The NHS crisis in the UK shows no signs of abating, and in some cases, it’s only going to get worse. If you’re one of the many who are suffering in silence or protesting loudly, its incumbent upon you to grab the reins and to take care of your dental issues. No one is coming to help you and it’s assured that whatever dental problems you have, it will continue to get worse.
The medical tourism industry in Hungary was created to address these specific issues for those suffering. With affordable procedures, modern tech., and experienced doctors there is no excuse not to at least contact us for a consult. The consult will quickly put your mind at ease with the information you need to get started. Do not delay and do not wait until the small manageable dental issue turns into something more serious. We look forward to speaking with you in the future.