Greetings from Bornholm, Denmark – Balázs Rosta and Tímea Ballók answer hot questions about taking over own dental clinic in Denmark.
Interview with a Hungarian dentist couple, about their life and working conditions in Bornholm, Denmark
Why did you want to work abroad?
We were not satisfied with the Hungarian conditions, like the political situation, corruption, more and more difficulties in making ends meet, people’s attitude etc. The main reason behind wanting to go abroad was not financial, but we wished for a more relaxed, stable and calculable life.
Do you have children?
Yes, a daughter who is soon four years old.
If you have children, did you have any concerns about taking them abroad?
We thought she would benefit from growing up in such a well-functioning society.
Which worries did you have, before you left?
Our only worry was whether or not she would be capable of accommodating to the new environment.
We had been to Denmark before as tourists and had very good experiences. We were not interested in other countries, only Austria. But foreign doctors are not much needed there and people say it’s harder to be accepted there by the inhabitants. Furthermore we only heard good things about Denmark and even the climate is convenient for us.
Why did you want to have your own clinic?
We had our own clinic in Hungary. We got used to manage our own professional life. We could have accepted an employee position as well. However, having an own clinic provides more possibilities both financially and professionally.
Weren’t you concerned about the financial model? Why? Why not?
We trusted Medicolink’s team completely. Anyway, what could we lose?
How did you like learning Danish?
It was very exciting and we enjoyed it very much. It was good to study again. It is still unbelievable that we could acquire such knowledge in six months. The teaching was highly professional.
Have you acquired the necessary language level for working in Denmark?
We didn’t have any problem with communication; we could easily start working with the acquired language knowledge.
Do you still learn Danish?
Timi does, though I study a bit less. It is always necessary to improve.
How did you find accommodation in the town and day care or school for your children?
Medicolink helped us to find kindergarten and a flat. There were more options and we made a final decision at a personal visit.
How does your child manage?
We are satisfied with the kindergarten, though it was difficult for her to accept that she is the only Hungarian speaker. I think it depends on personality. At the beginning, she was frustrated because she could not understand the language, but she is getting better and better. Noémi started speaking Danish a bit slower, than we would have expected, but she feels very good.
How well does the school/institution function?
The kindergarten is really child centred and we are absolutely satisfied.
What is the weather like in Denmark?
It’s a “little” windy, a bit more wet than we were used to, but altogether it suits us just fine. The fresh sea air compensates for everything.
How is your everyday financial situation?
For the present, we live on one salary and we manage perfectly. Better than we expected. We do not save money on anything, we travel and buy everything we need. Finally, somehow, a little amount always remains to make savings.
Where is the clinic you bought located?
It is in the centre of the capital of an island with 40 000 inhabitants.
What was the clinic like?
It was well-equipped and in good condition.
What is the difference in being a dentist in Denmark and in your home country?
There is not an enormous difference. Due to the good oral hygiene in Denmark, there is less extraction and root-canal treatment. There is more emphasis on prevention. The patients and hence the dentist can more easily afford to use better materials and equipment.
Is there a difference between the patients?
Oral hygiene is much better here, patients go for regular check-ups and have lower expectations – function is much more important than aesthetics.
What is your experience regarding Danish culture?
There are small cultural differences that we need to get used to or learn, but these are not disturbing. We like them very much and do not consider them difficult. We definitely have positive experiences.
How did people react when you moved to the town?
They welcomed us with great kindness and almost all patients expressed how happy they were about our move to the town.
How do you see Danish work culture?
We thought Danes like working more than Hungarians, but this is not the situation. They do the work properly, but they are even happier about holidays than our natives.
How is your cooperation with the colleagues who have been working there also before your arrival?
Fortunately, there are no problems; our relation is absolutely good.
Can you contact the previous owner, if you need advice?
Yes, he helped us several times, when we were in need. He supports us in everything.
What are the biggest difficulties you have experienced as a private person?
The internet connection is bad. We have no other problems.
What are the biggest difficulties you experience as a professional?
We need to be more autonomous in complicated cases as we can’t or hardly can send the patient to a specialist since we work on a pretty remote island.
Can you describe the cooperation with Medicolink? In the consultation period, in the language learning process and after taking over the clinic.
We were and we are absolutely satisfied; we got every information and help we needed in all the three stages. We can speak exclusively in superlatives about Medicolink.
Has the company lived up to its promises and your expectations?
What advice would you give to the other dentists, who are interested in working in Denmark?
They should not be afraid to engage in this possibility, however, Denmark should not be considered only as a financial opportunity. One has to be open-minded and accepting.
How do you feel now, after having moved to Denmark?
We hope everything will go smoothly and we will retire here. We would like to live here and be useful members of society. We would like Noémi to grow up here.