Outpatients: The Astonishing New World of Medical Tourism

Sasha Issenberg (Author)


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.

Product Details

$12.99  $11.95
Columbia Global Reports
Publish Date
February 09, 2016
4.9 X 0.7 X 7.4 inches | 0.3 pounds
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About the Author

Sasha Issenberg 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.


"Revealing and timely new book ... The story of Hungary's dental trade is but one small glimpse into a growing, profitable, and highly problematic industry--one that is now spreading throughout the globe. ... A notable strength of this book is Issenberg's keen and thorough shoe-leather reporting as he brings us through the hospitals of Eastern Europe ... There is something very unjust about a nation providing privatized health services for an international market while at the same time failing to provide universal health care for its own citizens." --Adam Gaffney, The New Republic

"Hungary's post-communist elite, led by a flamboyant, well-connected oral surgeon, has developed a sector of skilled dentists. By charging bargain prices, they have created an internationally marketable product. The national government even includes a Medical Tourism Office. ... The story of how Hungary became 'Europe's dental chair' is a big part of a small, sharp new book ... It reads like a magazine article--fast, entertaining and occasionally funny." -- The Washington Post

"Issenberg takes a look at the practice and its ramifications for the way people around the world receive health care. He examines examples ranging from a Hungarian dentist who has built an empire out of treating travelers, to heart surgery on the cheap in Thailand, to a backlash against foreign patients in Israel." --The Huffington Post

"A strength of this book is Issenberg's keen and thorough on the ground reporting from clinics and hospitals in Eastern Europe. His focus is less on the medical tourists themselves, and much more on their providers and host nations." -- International Medical Travel Journal

"Accessible, on-the-ground reporting of an increasingly commonplace phenomenon with serious implications for the future of health care." - Kirkus Reviews