Why do Canadians and Americans travel to Mexico for their health care?
Ever since Mexico has upgraded and regularized their standards in health care along with specialized doctors and very modern hospitals, thousands of Canadians and Americans are coming to this country every year for Medical Tourism. They are specifically planning their trip and their stay to attend to medical and dental necessities.
You may wonder what is the driving force behind these travels. Well, economics could be one main reason, but there are many other factors to take into account. The Canadian health system has great hospital infrastructure and health personnel, but they are over whelmed with the number of patients that are in need of care, especially surgeries, therefore the waiting times for elective/non-
emergency procedures can take up to months or years. Also the appointment times between visits to family health providers, referral to specialists, ordering special studies and scheduling surgeries are very much prolonged, whereas in Mexico all can be done within days, just with previous notification of the patient arriving.
On the US side costs of delivering care is quite high due to overhead expenses, ridiculous high liability insurance malpractice premiums and markups in consumables. This makes it almost impossible for an ordinary person to pay the price out of pocket, and health insurance policies limit many procedures and the large deductibles and co-payments may apply.
Modern communication technologies with smartphones and computers have also greatly contributed to the growing number of traveling patients. Aside from making them feel at home away from home, they can access and google information. So citizens of these countries are looking for alternatives elsewhere and Puerto Vallarta has become a favorite welcoming place for Medical and
There are five major hospitals in the region with state of the art installations, over 350 medical specialists many with top certifications, and dozens of well-qualified dentists, besides a Medical and Nursing School that was founded in 2007 by the University of Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta CUC Campus. The most common procedures that patients are seeking for are in the field of Orthopedics (Arthroscopic, Joint replacements and Spine surgery), Bariatric Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, although many other specialists are keeping quite busy too, as well as the numerous dentists in town.
Written by: Dr. Max Greig, a well known Orthopedic Surgeon and founder of the University Medical School in Puerto Vallarta