Synopses & Reviews
Today more people travel to Hungary for dental care than to any other country in Europe. The fascinating story of how Hungary became Europe's dental chair is a case study in medical tourism, which has become a growing multi-billion-dollar industry exploding in places as varied as India, Brazil, Korea, and Costa Rica as countries rewrite laws to compete for patients. Doctors and dentists have to run a business, but does globalization destroy the dream of high-quality universal health care? Sasha Issenberg, the acclaimed author of The Sushi Economy
and The Victory Lab
, goes on the trail of dental tourism in Eastern Europe in search of answers.
Need surgery? You better travel.
Globalization produces a lot of odd results around the world. One of them is that Hungary has become the dentistry capital of Europe: thanks to aggressive marketing campaigns and heavy government support, more people go there for dental care than to any other country in Europe. The towns of Mosonmagyar v r and Sopron boast the highest concentrations of dental clinics in the world.
The story of how Hungary became Europe's dental chair is a case study in the booming practice of medical tourism. It is a rapidly growing business, as patients go in search of lower prices, and some countries have found economic opportunity in turning health care into a global trade. An American with insurance can expect to pay $90,000 for a heart bypass in the U.S., but only $12,000 if he or she travels to Thailand.
The question is whether medical tourism represents the future of health care, which traditionally has been a core responsibility of national governments. Sasha Issenberg's acclaimed books, The Sushi Economy and The Victory Lab, were early in identifying changes in the way the world works. A brilliant journalist with a keen eye for significant trends, he now turns his talents to medical tourism, and gives us a funny, vivid, wise narrative that will change the way you think about health care.
About the Author
is the author of The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns
(2012) and The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy
(2007). He is the Washington correspondent for Monocle
and a contributor to Bloomberg Politics. He covered the 2008 election as a national political correspondent for The Boston Globe
and the 2012 election as a columnist for Slate
. His work has also appeared in The New Republic
, The New York Times Magazine
, and George
, where he was a contributing editor. He is currently a resident scholar in the UCLA Department of Political Science and lives in Los Angeles.