It is estimated that nearly one million people travel to Mexico annually for medical purposes. It is the second most popular country for medical tourism worldwide. Within the Mexican territory, Cancun and Tijuana are the most popular places for this practice. (Source: Patients Beyond Borders)
Almost a million North Americans travel to the country each year in search of medical attention (Source: Mexican Council for the Medical Tourism Industry), a figure much higher than the 800,000 in 2007 (Source American Journal of Medicine).
The reason behind the increase in US residents crossing the border for this purpose is due to the high cost of medical services in the United States, along with long waiting lists. Mexico offers very low care costs in medical services in relation to the exorbitant prices of the health system in the United States. American tourists would save between 40% and 60% on the main health procedures in the Latin American country. (Source: Patients Beyond. Year 2020)
As an example, based on data from the 2020 analysis, a dental implant in Mexico costs US$1,650, while the value of the same procedure is doubled in the United States: US$3,400. In that same country, the price of a total facelift exceeds US$10,000, while in Mexico its value is reduced to US$5,150.
The growing industry of medicine in the border cities of Mexico is such that Nuevo Laredo is surrounded by hotels and dental centers. In 2022, the NewCity Medical Plaza was inaugurated, a 33-story medical center located in the city of Tijuana, which is promoted as ” the best medical tourism center in the world .”
Dental care, surgery, cosmetic surgery, fertility treatments, organ and tissue transplants, and cancer treatment are the most commonly sought health services (Source CDC). Between 1.4 and 3 million people arrived in Mexico in 2020 at one of these objectives. In search of fast, cheap and more accessible care than in their countries.
Another reason behind medical tourism would be that some patients travel to avoid existing restrictions in their countries of origin or to carry out procedures that are illegal in their places of residence, such as abortion. Some countries are attractive for medical tourism because they are known for their expertise in specific health issues, such as Singapore and its oncology treatments.
The case of the kidnapping of four American tourists traveling to Mexico, which occurred in March 2023 near the border city of Matamoros, and of which two were killed, caught the attention of the authorities, because the case has been linked to this phenomenon. of “medical tourism”
Mexico Daily Post