Medical tourism to Mexico is on the rise
Medical tourism takes people all over the world, including to Mexico, India and Eastern Europe. “It’s on the daily, without a doubt. There are people going daily to get this kind of stuff done,” said Dr. Nolan Perez, a gastroenterologist in Brownsville, Texas, which is across the border from Matamoros. “Whether it’s primary care provider visits or dental procedures or something more significant, like elective or weight loss surgery, there’s no doubt that people are doing that because of low cost and easier access.”
One study published in the American Journal of Medicine estimated that fewer than 800,000 Americans traveled to other countries for medical care in 2007, but by 2017, more than 1 million did.
More current estimates suggest that those numbers have continued to grow.
“People travel because there may be a long waiting time, wait lists or other reasons why they can’t get treatment as quickly as they would like it. So they explore their options outside the United States to see what’s available,” said Elizabeth Ziemba, president of Medical Tourism Training, which provides training and accreditation to international health travel organizations.
Also, “price is a big issue in the United States. We know that the US health care system is incredibly expensive,” she added. “Even for people with insurance, there may be high deductibles or out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by insurance, so that people will look based on price for what’s available in other destinations.”
The most common procedures that prompt medical tourism trips include dental care, surgery, cosmetic surgery, fertility treatments, organ and tissue transplants and cancer treatment, according to the CDC.
Mexico is the second most popular destination for medical tourism globally, with an estimated 1.4 million to 3 million people coming into the country to take advantage of inexpensive treatment in 2020, according to Patients Beyond Borders.
墨西哥是全球第二最受欢迎的医疗旅游目的地，据“无国界患者”（Patients Beyond Borders）称，2020年，估计有140万至300万人来到墨西哥享受廉价治疗。
On average, Americans can save 40% to 60% across the most common major procedures received by medical tourists in Mexico, according to an analysis of 2020 health ministry data conducted by Patients Beyond Borders.