Tulum beach and Maya ruins, Mexico - favorite medical tourism destination for Americans


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Mexico, the southern neighbor of the United States of America, a country known for an exquisite and vast cuisine, unique natural landscapes and historical sites has in the past years made a great effort and progress through private and government funding to combine these aspect with top of the line medical care, making Mexico the favorite medical tourism destination for Americans. Medical tourism has always been present in Mexico, but over the past 10 years the industry has experienced a big boom. For North American and Canadian snowbirds Mexico has long been like Canary Islands for Northern Europeans. Besides comparable distance it shares many similarities in climate, architecture and landscapes.

Mexico receives an estimated 1,500,000 international patients each year and that number grows annually. With 98 hospitals meeting international standards of quality and currently 9 hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International the medical service offered there is complemented and taken to the next level by state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic technology equaling that found in high level medical centers across the globe. Many of these hospitals also offer hotel services for family members and patient recovery while still being next door to medical services to increase patient quality of care. Many doctors in Mexico have gone through specialty or sub-specialty studies and training abroad in the USA or European countries and they bring the quality and medical standards learned abroad back to Mexico to ensure level of care that is internationally recognized. So it’s quite common to find a fluent English speaking doctors in Mexico.

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Medical services in Mexico not only match those found in other countries, but they are also at the cutting edge of discovery and breakthrough with projects such as the artificial heart based on a gold alloy under development by the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) and acupuncture stress therapy that even doctors and nurses who work at these hospital use to reduce stress levels and improve their quality of life.

Mexico is one of the few countries that has a dedicated government funded high level medical center for homeopathic medicine, The Hospital Nacional Homeopatico. This hospital that is located in the capital Mexico City looks to exploit the vast and endemic natural resources found across the country and combine them with medical sciences in order to offer treatment plans and alternative not offered anywhere else. This hospital also educates and creates highly qualified medical professionals in the fields of acupuncture, ozone therapy, herbal therapy and many homeopathic disciplines who work and practice in the medical tourism clusters in the country.

Mexico - Valladolid

One of the main driving forces that keeps medical tourists coming to Mexico is the price. Treatments in very expensive and complex medical fields such as Oncology, Plastic Surgery, Cardiology, Orthopedic Surgery, Bariatric Surgery, Transplant Surgery, Fertility, Eye Surgery and many more can be obtained here for 60% to 80% less than what it would cost in other countries like USA for instance. Combine this with the fact that Mexico is known for it’s hospitality and welcoming attitude towards their guests and you’ll find yourself with medical treatments of the highest standard in quality and comfort at prices that many people can afford.

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There are various clusters for medical tourism across Mexico. Those closest to the border are Tijuana, Mexicali, Matamoros, Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo. These cluster typically draws patients who cross the border from border states like Arizona and California. For instance in Tijuana there is a very known clinic, Clinica CIPAG, owned and operated by Dr. Castillo. Here Dr. Castillo offers a unique mix of orthodox and integrative medical treatments based around EDTA chelation (removal of heavy metals from the body) and other treatment plans. Dr. Castillo has had great success treating several conditions from arthritis to prostate cancer. He has become famous especially in Canada where his reputation has grown as word of mouth. I don’t have first hand experience of it yet though, but we may produce review of it later.

At the other end of the country we can find the state of Quintana Roo which is home to two very important sites for medical tourism, Playa del Carmen and Cancun. These sites are visited mostly by those who fly into Mexico from the United States of America, Canada and Europe. In Playa del Carmen we can find the SANAR Clinic run and owned by Dr. Luis Suárez a specialist in Ozone Therapy, Acupuncture and Phytotherapy. SANAR Clinic also has a highly trained physiotherapist who specializes in neurological pain and diseases. I found nice collaborator in Playa to go and review them. First collaboration of it’s kind on this site.

In the heart of Mexico there is of course Mexico City which is home to many reputable hospitals such as Grupo Angeles, Hospital ABC, Star Medica plus many more that offer great patient experiences. I found one article having a take on Angeles Hospitals and a medical tourism agency in USA that has connection to Star Medica. So there is not shortage of English speaking doctors in Mexico.

Located on the south-east coast of Mexico there is Acapulco, the former jet-set hub of the 60’s and 70’s. Nowadays many consider this to be one of the first sites for medical tourism in Mexico before it’s degradation to notorious “murder capital” of the country, like some call it. Despite being left into shadow of The Riviera Maya currently Acapulco offers a wide variety of treatments focused around fertility and reproduction and recently there has been reports of high interest among investors to grow this sector in Acapulco, which may facilitate it’s return to glory in a new light. That would make it favorite medical tourism destination for Americans again.

Yet another hub for snowbirds on the Atlantic coast is Puerto Vallarta and it’s surroundings like Sayulita. There are several integrative clinics in those locations that I will review later on.

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SANAR CLINIC, Playa del Carmen

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