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Medical Tourism in Mexico – Statistics, Facts, Information

Bariatric Dieting

In recent times, the world is witnessing a sea-change in patient mobility. Low-cost quality healthcare treatments and increased marketing are driving more people to travel from their country of residence to another destination. This has resulted in a growing incidence of “medical tourism” where patients travel from richer nations, having exorbitant healthcare costs, to less-developed countries to access top-notch medical care at comparatively affordable prices.

The popularity of medical tourism is increasing by leaps and bounds, with over 14,00,000 people traveling around the world to seek advanced and low-cost medical procedures. However, one name that instantly comes to mind when talking about medical tourism is Mexico. Offering high-quality medical services, improved customer support, and affordable prices – Mexico has emerged as the second top-rated destination for medical tourism.

This overview is based on rich data gathered from policy sources and media, expert conversations, and observational research that exhibit the fast-growing pace of the medical tourism industry in Mexico.

Mexico Medical Tourism Statistics:

– Global Medical Tourism is a $55-$75 Billion Industry by 2021

Medical Tourism in Mexico – $6.75 Billion Industry by 2021 est.

– 14 Million Medical Tourists Travel Annually

–  800,000 to 1 million Americans visit Mexico from the U.S.

Mexico Medical Tourism Boom from $1.5 Billion from 2006 to $4.8 Billion 2016

  • 306,000 Physicians in Mexico (2018)

Average Costs of Medical Tourism:

Plastic Surgery Medical Tourism Costs:

  • Average Price of Rhinoplasty in Mexico: $2,220 USD (2017)
  • Average Price of Breast Lift in Mexico with Implant: $5,700 USD (est.)
  • Average Price of Breast Lift in Mexico without Implants: $4,360 USD (est.)
  • Average Price of Tummy Tuck in Mexico: $4,800 USD (est.)
  • Average Price of Body Lift (Post-Bariatrics) in Mexico: $9,800 USD (est.)
  • Average Price of BOTOX in Mexico: $400-700 USD (est.)

Bariatric Surgery Medical Tourism Costs:

  • Average Price of Gastric Sleeve in Mexico: $4,700 USD (2020)
  • Average Price of Gastric Bypass Surgery in Mexico: $5,900 USD (2020)

Other Medical Tourism Costs:

  • Average Cost of Cancer Treatment in Mexico: $18,000-$38,000 (est.)

Biggest Drivers to Mexico Medical Tourism

  • Dental: Save up to 70% the cost of the US
  • Cosmetic: Save up to 75% the cost of the US
  • Bariatric Surgery: Save up to 80% the cost of the US
  • Cancer Treatment: Save on Traditional, Experimental and Integrative Cancer Treatments
  • Other Medical Procedures (including Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement, Orthopedic Surgery, Eye Surgery, Cardiac Surgery) Save up to 70% the cost of the US

Medical Tourism in Mexico: A Complete Picture

Did you know that on average, 1.2 million travelers visit Mexico from different parts of the world to access medical procedures and treatments that cost 2x more in their country of residence or do not fall within their insurance coverage? According to experts, “the main consumer in the world of these services is the American population, which looks for savings in health expenditure through high-quality alternatives, but with better prices than those offered in their country.”

As explained by Carlos Pantoja from the hotel construction industry and a lead partner of Deloitte, “In the US, citizens have a private health system, one of the most sophisticated and advanced in the world, but also the most expensive and without enough health insurance for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly.” He sighted some of the top reasons why patients from America visit Mexico:

  • Proximity between both countries
  • Certified and high-quality medical companies that offer comprehensive services, including airport shuttle transportation, accommodation, etc. as a part of healthcare services
  • Easy-to-access air routes
  • Low cost medical procedures
  • Broader and better coverage under their medical insurance plan

Thus, the Medical Tourism Association states that 8 out of 10 travelers visiting Mexico for health reasons hail from the United States. Another information published by the Mexican Council for the Medical Tourism Industry reports that the country experiences the most influx of offshore patients to get treatment facilities for medical conditions such as heart and lung diseases, dental treatments, diabetes, obesity, tissue and organ transplants, etc.

One of the top reasons why patients seek medical procedures in Mexico is because health care costs in the country are 30-50% cheaper than in the US. For instance, a rhinoplasty costs only around $3,800, which is much affordable than $6,500 in the U.S. Again, gastric sleeve surgery – a bariatric procedure – costs almost 46% less in Mexico than in the United States.

Affordable Medical Care Costs in Mexico

Talking on the same perspective, the CEO of Patients Beyond Borders – Josef Woodman, stated that over 800,000 to 1 million Americans visit Mexico from the U.S. to access affordable yet quality medical procedures every year. According to his estimates, a treatment solution that would otherwise be priced at $15,900 in the United States will cost around $4,010 in Mexico. And that is a big amount of money that patients can save through medical tourism in Mexico.

As per the estimates by Patients Beyond Borders, the cost savings through medical tourism can be significantly high as 40-70%. Ideally, it is around 70% when patients are undergoing a complex medical procedure. More importantly, these patients get better benefits under their medical insurance plans in Mexico than in their home country, where they are often found to be under-insured.

High-Quality Healthcare

The affordability of medical procedures in Mexico does not undermine the quality of services one gets in the country. Mexico is rated to have an excellent healthcare system. In fact, the country’s public healthcare system is almost at par with that in European countries such as Switzerland and Europe. Additionally, public medical institutions are considered to have superior healthcare quality as private hospitals.

As published on the website of Patients Beyond Barriers, “Many hospitals in Mexico enjoy affiliation with major educational institutions. Hospital San Jose Tec de Monterrey, for example, is sponsored by the internationally recognized Tecnológico de Monterrey, a premiere educational institution that boasts more than 18,000 full-time students and operates 32 campuses across Mexico.”

Today, the country has eight Joint Commission International-accredited facilities with a “gold standard” global healthcare approval system. High-quality healthcare services are coupled with dedicated care and overall patient wellbeing to ensure a rewarding experience for patients traveling to Mexico from other parts of the world.

Biggest Drivers to Medical Tourism in Mexico

So, which healthcare services attract most travelers from offshore countries? Here is a quick overview:

  • Around 60% of patients visit Mexico to receive high-quality dental care. This can help save more than 70% of the dental care costs in the US
  • Cosmetic surgery represents around 15% of people traveling to Mexico, helping you save up to 75% of the total cost in America
  • Bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery, is the third biggest contributor to medical tourism in Mexico. It is estimated to save up to 80% of the cost by undergoing bariatric surgery in Mexico.

Orthopedics, IVF, optometry, etc. are other healthcare services that are gaining prominence as a part of Mexico’s medical tourism.

Medical Tourism in Mexico Infographic

Medical Tourism in Mexico

Medical Tourism in Mexico is one of the top five medical tourism destinations in the world. With about a million medical tourists per year, most coming from the United States, and Canada. Mexico medical tourism has seen a significant boom in recent years with thousands of patients flooding a day.

Most tourism for healthcare in Mexico is for dental services, including dental surgery, cosmetic or plastic surgery (including BOTOX and other fillers), weight loss surgery or bariatric surgery, and other medical procedures. Medical tourists can save up to 80% of the typical cost in the United States, while still getting quality healthcare.

Today, 70 percent of Medical Tourists to Mexico come from nearby states: California, Texas, or Arizona.

“Since research began on the first edition of Patients Beyond Borders, Mexico has made great strides in healthcare. No longer known only for border-town dentistry and cosmetic surgery, Mexico has in recent years come into its own as a global healthcare hub, offering patients an array of specialties and procedures that now begin to rival its competitor nations in Asia.” Patient Beyond Borders

Overall – Mexico Medical Tourism

Undoubtedly, Mexico is witnessing exponential growth in medical tourism. According to Statista, around 728 thousand tourists visited Mexico in March 2020 for medical purposes. The number has declined as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak but is estimated to grow in the years to come. 

However, experts suggest conducting rigorous research, analyzing patient reviews and hospital accreditation, and evaluating potential risks before visiting Mexico for medical reasons. That is because “Too many patients ‘price-shop’ and wind up in sketchy, predatory facilities. It’s better to save 5-10 percent less, get quality work done and still come out way ahead,” said Josef Woodman.

Biggest Destinations (Please use Mexico Country Map to place destinations – Add Town Names and Icons)

– Tijuana: Bariatric Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Dental, Other Medical Procedures

– Mexicali: Bariatric Surgery, Dental

– Piedras Negras: Dental

– Reynosa: Dental

– Los Algodones “Molar City”: Dental

– Juarez: Dental

– Nogales: Dental

– Monterrey: Bariatric Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Dental, Other Medical Procedures

– Mexico City: Cosmetic Surgery, Dental, Other Medical Procedures

– Cancun: Bariatric Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Dental, Other Medical Procedures

– Guadalajara: Bariatric Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Dental, Other Medical Procedures

– Puerto Vallarta: Bariatric Surgery, Other Medical Procedures

Other cities for Mexico Medical Tourism: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Hermosillo, Chihuahua

Time Zones: GMT -6, GMT -5,

Country Dialing Code: +52

Electricity: 127V, plug type A

Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN)

Recommended Immunizations: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid booster, consider antimalarial drugs

Languages: Spanish, some English

About Renew Bariatrics

Renew Bariatrics is a weight-loss surgery practicing in Mexico focusing on medical tourism. Renew Bariatrics provides Gastric Sleeve in Tijuana, Gastric Bypass in Tijuana, revisional bariatric surgeries and much more. Renew Bariatrics works with leading bariatric surgeons in Mexico. Learn more about undergoing bariatric surgery in Tijuana, Mexico by contacting our helpful staff.

Resources:

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our editorial team strives to present both sides of the argument with in-depth analysis and links to resources.

This article contains scientific and health-related references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.