Mexico is a preferred destination for medical travelers and is currently ranked among the top health tourism countries in the world, located just south of the US border. This country is home to quality and economical medical care. The local medical industry consists of many big hospitals and small private clinics that are run by two or three physicians. Mexico doesn’t compromise on quality when it comes to healthcare, but the offered level of quality may fluctuate from doctor to doctor.
Mexico lures more than one million visiting patients from California, Arizona and Texas who are seeking weight loss surgeries and dental procedures. Its location near the United States makes it more accessible and a popular choice for most American travelers. But the country is also a preferred destination for residents of other countries like Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, mainly because of the impressive rates. The most popular states for health tourism are Mexico City, Yucatan, Sonora and Baja California.
Why Choose Mexico?
Medical tourism in Mexico is popular because of the costs. Heart valve replacement costs are 89% lower and rhinoplasty costs are around 56% lower than the US. Medical technology is advanced and improvements are constantly being made. Mexico aims to become the top choice for medical tourism. As such, new international regulatory regimes are being introduced, which will improve quality further. A large percentage of Mexican doctors acquire their training and continuing education from the United States, and speak English fluently, and so does the nursing and paramedical staff.
Patients also come to Mexico simply because it is a splendid tourist spot with a tropical climate and sparkling blue beaches. The sunshine is warm and the coastal breeze on the skin feels pleasant, allowing patients to relax and unwind, which speeds up recovery. Generally, the coastal strips bordering the Pacific Ocean or around the Baja California Peninsula are the most popular among medical travelers.
Travelling to Mexico is quite convenient for both Americans and Canadians because the country is nearby and easily accessible via a short flight. A no-stop flight from Washington DC and New Jersey to Mexico City takes around 4 hours and 25 minutes. Flights from Toronto and Ontario also average around 4 hours and 20 minutes if no stops are made.
Healthcare and Medical Tourism in Mexico
Foreign patients have access to several medical treatments like cosmetic surgery, heart surgery and dental work. Weight loss programs are also a popular choice. Previously, Mexico was only famous for dentistry and cosmetic surgery, but in recent years, the country has turned into a complete healthcare hub where all kinds of patients can take advantage of affordable medical facilities and treatments.
Recently established hospitals can be compared with the best medical institutions in the world. In fact, 8 JCI accredited hospitals are located in Mexico. Over 102 hospitals have received certification from the General Health Council, whereas other health centers have acquired certification from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
A lot of doctors, dentists and surgeons undergo training programs from countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, so they grasp the culture and standards of the residence of these countries quite well.
Many private hospitals are located in Tijuana that mostly cater to US patients. Mexico City, the capital of the country is popular among tourists and is home to some of the best hospitals in the world. Treatment centers are also found in abundance at popular tourist towns like Cancun, ensuring that patients not only enjoy a low cost treatment, but a splendid vacation as well.
The healthcare standards in Mexico are above par with well maintained hospitals and clinics, stocked with the most advanced medical equipment and technology. However, the healthcare access system is complicated, featuring three different systems that are slit into more sub systems, varying from state to state.
Considering the private medical sector, there are more than three thousand clinics and hospitals, which are often filled with foreign patients.
Lodging and Hotels
Some Mexican destinations offer beautiful beach front resorts and stylish boutique hotels. Obviously, the prices for these would be higher, but many budget hotels are available within an affordable range. Renting a private space is another option, but they may not be so easily available during busy seasons. Still budget hotels can be rented out all year round.
For a double room, the starting price for cheap hotels is $50. Moderate hotels can be booked for around $50 to $200, whereas luxury accommodation is higher than this range. The prices quoted here include tax, but exclude meals.
Airlines that fly directly from United States to Mexico
- American Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- Viva Aerobus
- Sun Country
- Spirit Airlines
Other airlines that fly to Mexico
- Air Canada
- Korean Air
- LATAM Airlines Group
- ANA (All Nippon Airways)
Climate and Weather
Climate varies from area to area. Coastal areas are hot and humid. Inland temperatures are moderate if the areas are at a higher elevation, around 5,200 above sea level. Mexico City is at the greatest height of 7,547 ft and experiences freezing temperatures in winter. In fact, snow-capped volcanoes are also located in the region.
Average temperatures are between 10 and 32 degrees centigrade, whereas yearly humidity is around 70%. Areas above sea level are cooler and drier. Rainy season is from May to September, during which 40 inches of rain falls on average.
Entrance Requirements and Visa
US citizens don’t require a visa to travel to Mexico if their stay is less than 180 days. Canadian citizens also don’t require a visa if their stay is 90 days or less. They are issued a Multiple Migratory form at the border upon payment of $20.
Visa requirements for other countries vary, so please contact your local embassy or a travel provider.
Languages and Culture
Mexican culture has undergone a transformation in the past few decades and widely varies from region to region. Though most of the residents live in cities, the rural communities also define the country’s culture.
The majority of the locals speak Spanish. 6% of Mexicans also speak other languages such as Nahuatl and Mayan. Doctors and nurses are comfortable in speaking English, so foreign patients normally face no issues. 82% of the people are Catholic, whereas the rest follow other religions like Buddhism, Judaism and Islam.
Mexican cuisine is famous all over the world. Corn made food and tortillas are common dishes in the country. Rice is another staple. Major holidays include the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Posadas and the Day of the Dead.
Overview of Mexico
Capital of Mexico: Mexico City
Languages: Spanish and English
Suggested Vaccines: Hepatitis A and B, and Typhoid booster
Time Zones: GMT -6, and GMT -5
Country Code for Telephone Calls: +52
Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN)
Entertainment and Tourist Attractions
Mexico is filled with sunny beaches and beautiful landscapes, making it a popular destination especially among North Americans and Europeans. The country also has a rich culture and several historical sites such as the Mexico City’s Historic Center and ChichénItzá. The Mayan Riviera stretches along the Gulf of Mexico coastline, featuring crystal clear waters and numerous activities on the beaches, such as snorkeling and scuba diving. The underwater fish display in Mexico is the largest and the prettiest in the world. Puerto Vallarta is another popular beach destination.