Category: General Guide

Medical Tourism in Mexico

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Medical Tourism in Mexico Cover Photo

Getting a dental, orthopedic, cosmetic, weight loss surgery or any other medical procedure in Mexico can save you up to 40-60% of your medical expenses, if we consider the American costs as a benchmark. Despite such low costs, these clinics offer efficient, skilled, and professional services, with the help of innovative technology, and state-of-the-art equipments that are often as good as those available in the best institutes around the world. Americans and Canadians also prefer this location due to its geographical proximity.


Medical Tourism in Mexico

Mexico is one of the most popular destinations among medical tourists today. Getting a dental, orthopedic, cosmetic, weight loss surgery or any other medical procedure in Mexico can save you up to 40-60% of your medical expenses, if we consider the American costs of such procedures as a benchmark. Despite such low costs, these clinics offer efficient, skilled, and professional services, with the help of innovative technology, and state-of-the-art equipments that are often as good as those available in the best institutes around the world. Americans and Canadians also prefer this location due to its geographical proximity. In fact, an estimated 1 million Californians visit Mexico for medical purposes every year. Of course, selecting a Mexican clinic also helps circumvent the long wait before you are eligible for certain procedures under health insurance, in addition to getting those expensive procedures that aren’t covered by these policies at competitive prices. So, if you have selected Mexico to get that long-awaited procedure, here’s a compilation of all the details about this country that should be acquainted with as a medical tourist.

 

Top Destinations:

The JCI has accredited around nine hospitals in Mexico, and The Federal Ministry of Health has certified another 105 hospitals for their compliance with international standards. The hospital in the border towns of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez mainly cater to the American tourists. Tijuana is just 25 minutes from San Diego airport in California, and attracts almost 50% of the American Medical tourists. Tijuana alone has more than 9 hospitals or repute catering to oversees patients, whereas Ciudad Juarez has 2 major JCi accredited hospitals and many other private clinics. Monterrey is another Mexican city that receives several of the medical tourists. It is only 90 minutes from Texas by air, and is adorned by more than 2 state-of-the-art hospitals to its advantage. Most of these hospitals have branches scattered all over the country, hence there are other cities apart from those mentioned here to choose from too. There are more than 3 major chains of hospitals running in this country, some with affiliations to well-known American institutes such as the Mayo clinic, and some are even owned and run by American companies.

 

Safety and credentials:

The Mexican medical schools offer an undergraduate ‘Título de Médico Cirujano’ degree to their medical students after they have completed four years of clinical studies and examinations, followed by a year of internship and a year of social service. This degree is equivalent to a GP in the US or Britain. A residency and fellowships to get certifications as an MD follow the undergraduate degree. The Asociación Dental Mexicana or the Mexican Dental Association regulates the dental facilities and monitors ongoing education and ethical standards in the field of dentistry. 

The Mexican Ministry of Health or the Secretaria de Salud is the governing body that issues CSG certifications to the health care facilities, in an attempt to increase their compliance with international standards of hygiene and efficiency. Hence, check if the credentials of your doctors and your chosen medical set-up fall within the ambit of the above mentioned certifications and accreditations.

 

Legal issues:

In the unfortunate event of malpractice, it is almost impossible to sue your Mexican doctors due to the nature of the Mexican legal system. Also, beware of certain alternative therapies that are ineffective or banned in the US still advertised by some Mexican clinics. However, educating yourself about the laws and legal practices in Mexico is particularly crucial if you are contemplating surrogacy or IVF with donor eggs and/or sperms. The good news is that the surrogacy laws in Mexico strongly protect the partially biological or non-biological parents in a surrogate-friendly atmosphere, if the participants have drawn a valid surrogacy contract. The Tabasco Law Article 92 states that in case of a gestational substitute mother the parenthood of the child legally rests with the contracting parent as soon as he/she registers the birth of the child as such an action implies the acceptance of parenthood on the part of such an individual. In addition, Article 347 of the Tabasco civil code states that the contracting mother is the legal parent of the child born through IVF, whether she has provided the egg or not. Nevertheless, learn the surrogacy and adoption laws in your home country or the procedure to obtain a passport for a child born through surrogacy.

Cost of treatments in Mexico:

Procedure

Cost in $*

(1$=12 Mexican Peso)

Heart bypass

$27000

Angioplasty

$12500

Heart valve replacement

$18000

Hip Replacement

$13000

Hip Resurfacing

$15000

Knee Replacement

$12000

Dental Implants

$1800

Breast Implants

$3500

Rhinoplasty

$3500

Face lift

$4900

Gastric Bypass

$10900

Tummy Tuck

$4025

Liposuction

$2800

Lasik (both eyes)

$1995

IVF

$3950

*These are approximate figures including airfare and single companion expenses.

How do you get there?

Citizens of 65 countries and the 3 countries under the purview of the EAS i.e. Russia, Ukraine, and turkey, can enter Mexico without a visa, as long as they have a passport that is valid for more than six months from the date of entry. The following table lists the countries exempt from the requirement of a Mexican visa.

 European Union / EFTA

 Andorra

 

 Argentina

 

 Australia

 

 Bahamas

 Barbados

 

 Belize

 

 Brazil

 

 Canada

 

 Chile

 

 Colombia

 

 Costa Rica

 

 Hong Kong

 

 Israel

 

 Jamaica

 

 Japan

 

 Macau

 Marshall Islands

 

 Paraguay

 

 Micronesia

 

 Monaco

 

 Malaysia

 

 Palau

 

 New Zealand

 

 Panama

 

 Peru

 

 Republic of Korea

 

 San Marino

 

 

 Singapore

 

 Trinidad and Tobago

 

 United States

 Uruguay

 

 Vatican City

 

 Venezuela

 

Tourists and visitors can stay in Mexico for 180 days per visit. However, it is mandatory for individuals planning to stay in the country for more than 72 hours, and for those who will be travelling more than 20 Kms inside the Mexican borders to acquire a document referred to as The Forma Migratoria Multiple from the National Migration Institute or the relevant authorities. Most hospitals have help-desks to assist their patients with such formalities. Citizens of countries requiring a visa to enter Mexico can obtain the document from a Mexican embassy in their home country. Keep scanned and Photocopies of your passport and other documents at hand, in the event of loss or theft.  

Some General tips:

       Currency: Nuevo Peso is available in denominations of 20, 50, and 100. Most healthcare set-ups accept payments in US dollars or card payments, but keep some local cash at hand for tips, travelling, and other small expenses.

       Accommodation: Most medical tourists do not require supplementary accommodation, since they may require staying at the hospital itself. However, for those who may need accommodation, especially with dental or cosmetic procedures that do not require a hospital stay, can get hotel, Bed and Breakfasts, and motel lodgings within the price range of $10 to $150 per day. You can take your pick according to your budget and the level of quality you require.

       Language: Spanish is the native language of Mexico, however almost all of the doctors, nurses, and other staff understand English. In case, you are not comfortable with either of these languages, ask the clinic for an interpreter.

  • Weather: The Mexican weather may vary across the country due to a diverse landscape of dry desserts, tropical forests, snow-capped mountains, fertile valleys, and sunny beaches. Contrary to popular belief, the Mexican weather isn’t outright hot, but is divided into a monsoon season and dry seasons. May to October is the Mexican monsoon. Since, it rains mostly in the evenings and at nighttime turning the Mexican landscapes into Lush green and ethereal vistas, you can comfortably travel to Mexico during most of this season. However, it is prudent to avoid scheduling a medical procedure between June and November, which is the official Mexican hurricane season. Adverse weather changes could pose a problem during these months.
  • Cuisine: The Mexican fare is a mixture of American and European cuisine. It may be spicy depending on the peppers used to cook the dishes, hence ask your waiters about the spicy nature of whatever you order. Perhaps, you are already familiar with Mexican food and relish the gastronomic delights offered by the Mexican restaurants. But, while you are on a health related visit there, avoid the spices and peppers. Mexico also has all of the restaurant chains such as, the pizza places, coffee shops, and other food joints that have their outlets in the United States and Canada. Hence, it shouldn’t be very difficult for you to get your hands on food of your choice. However, avoid buying food or water from street-side vendors and hawkers. Such, food could lead to gastrointestinal infections and other infectious diseases.
  • Tourist attractions: Mexico has a lot to offer in the realm of tourism. The diversity in the countries landscape offers several options from barmy beaches, to lush green valleys, dry desserts, dense forests, and snow-covered mountains. Several of its tourist spots are steeped in rich cultural and historical significance too. You can choose from any of these places to get an added vacation, or just lounge on its sunny beaches with some tequila and get a tan, in addition to your medical procedure.

Well, vacation or no vacation, you will still end up saving at least half of what you may spend on your medical procedure in your home country, without compromising on quality, efficiency, and health care.

 

Tags: medical tourism, medical tourism guide, medical tourism in Mexico, medical tourism in south america




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