Mexico – the most popular medical tourism destination in the Western Hemisphere

Published on : Tuesday, January 9, 2018

medical tourismLast year, more than one million foreign patients traveled to Mexico to avail medical procedures ranging from nose jobs to more serious surgeries.

In fact, Mexico remains the most popular destination in the Western Hemisphere for the Canadian and US citizens going abroad for medical treatment.

Over the past decade, Mexico’s earnings from medical tourism have skyrocketed as well, increasing from $544 million in 2006 to $4.7 billion in 2016 (96 percent).

But why such large numbers of patients travel to Mexico and elsewhere to avail of medical treatments leaving their home countries? In the case of U.S. citizens—with universal health coverage still not a reality and with health care costs being among the highest in the world—it’s fairly cheaper to go to Mexico. A plastic surgery procedure such as rhinoplasty (i.e. nose job) is about 56 percent cheaper in Mexico than in the United States. A heart valve replacement, meanwhile, can be as much as 89 percent less costly.

In addition, Mexico (along with other popular medical tourism destinations such as Costa Rica and Malaysia), have some of the best health care treatments in the world. Not just affordability, but also the quality of staff and medical facilities are better.

There are 15 medical clusters in Mexico that are spread throughout 12 states in the country. Many have developed along the northern border of the country in recent years.
Some of the most popular Mexican medical tourism destinations right now are Baja California, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Puebla, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sonora, Tamaulipas and Yucatan.

The country has also recently established a Medical Tourism Advisory Council made up of federal government agencies, private sector organizations, and academic and research institutions. The council aims to create public policies surrounding this growing segment of tourism.

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