Hungary Health Care and Vaccinations
If European visitors or any of their dependants are suddenly taken ill or have an accident during a visit to Hungary, free or reduced-cost necessary treatment is available - in most cases on production of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Full travel insurance is advised for all travellers.
In the case of an emergency, round-the-clock healthcare is available in Budapest from Fönix SOS Ambulance (tel: (1) 200 0100; www.fonixmed.com), which also has its own ambulance service. The Rózsakert Medical Centre in Budapest (tel: (1) 391 5903) offers a private healthcare service with American-trained doctors.
Emergency dental care may be had at SOS Dental Service (tel: (1) 269 6010 or (30) 383 3333 in Budapest, which is open 24 hours a day. Many visitors make use of Hungary’s private dental services, which are highly professional are very affordable in comparison to other countries. Several companies offer holiday packages in which extensive dental treatment is combined with a city break.
Many visitors travel to Hungary to make use of the country’s numerous thermal baths, which are claimed to be beneficial for a wide variety of chronic complaints, in particular for dermatological conditions and arthritis.
Food and Drink
Food in Hungary is as safe to eat as anywhere in Western Europe, but places where cooked food is allowed to cool before reheating are usually best avoided. Tap water is safe to drink throughout the country. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.
Tick-borne encephalitis is present in forested, grassy or lakeside areas during the warmer summer months. Insect repellent containing 30-50% DEET can help prevent bites, and long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots and hats should be worn to protect exposed skin. Vaccination is advised for campers and hikers visiting densely-forested areas outside the capital.
Rabies, although on the decrease, is also present. In the unlikely event of being bitten seek medical advice without delay. The sun can be surprisingly strong in summer and precautions should be taken to avoid sunburn. Mosquitoes are present by water in summer and can sometimes be a nuisance, although they carry no risk of disease.
The prevalence of HIV for adults in Hungary is estimated to be less than 0.1% of the adult population, a little lower than that in the UK. However, normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV should always be taken.