What Is Medical Tourism?
For years now, I have recommended to all my friends and readers they get their dental work done in Mexico. You can save thousands of dollars – sometimes even tens of thousands by getting your dental work done across the border.
The concept is growing – as more and more people avail themselves to cheaper dental care people have also found that healthcare itself can be obtained for ever so much less “across the border”… and so, a new kind of healthcare niche has started. It’s called “Medical Tourism”. Pretty much as I suggest you see a dentist or pick up a spare pair of eyeglasses while you’re on vacation, now Medial Tourism is encompassing just about everything.
Dr. Deepika Garg, a fan of MoneySavingMexico.com, contacted me recently and asked me if I could provide my readers with even more information on medical tourism. So, without further adieu, here is Dr. Garg’s comments on Medical Tourism.
HEALTH CARE IN MEXICO
Common Concerns for Medical Tourists
Medical tourism in Mexico has become increasingly popular with the rise in healthcare costs in neighboring United States. With Mexico just a few hours south, the country once popular for spring break and exotic holidays is now adding complete value for money medical tourism to its name as well. Around 750,000 Americans travel abroad for medical treatments annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and at least 100,000 of them travel to Mexico.
Despite a large number of medical tourists from the US visiting Mexico every year, quite a few of the potential medical travelers might still have their reservations about going to the Latin American country for getting treated. However, there are numerous ways to ensure that you are in good hands for your treatment while in Mexico. Read on to know how you can make your medical trip to Mexico a positive experience.
How Do I Know I’ll Get Quality Healthcare in Mexico?
The number one thing that worries people is that the quality of care in Mexico will be substandard, and that something might potentially go wrong. If we think rationally, we all know that this could also be true if we receive medical care in the United States or any other affluent country. Certain precautions need to be taken irrespective of where you are treated. To ensure you get quality care, you should:
· Do due diligence. Read up about facilities that specialize in your desired treatment. Look up the Internet for testimonies and feedback. Pop a question regarding a doctor or a hospital on a health/medical tourism online forum and see the verdicts of past patients trickling in.
· Find an accredited hospital/medical center. There are a number of medical facilities in Mexico that are JCI accredited and/or ISO certified. To be safe, choose one of these hospitals.
· Get to know your doctor. You can do this by:
1) Double checking his/her credentials.
2) Making sure there have been no claims of malpractice against the doctor.
3) Getting references from previous patients.
4) Seeing if he/she is a published doctor. It’s not required that a doctor publish articles in prestigious medical journals, but it of course adds to his/her credibility.
Speak with your local doctor. Your family doctor might also have some recommendations about a medical trip to Mexico.
Is Mexico Safe?
The USA Today reported that up to 80,000 Americans have retired in Mexico to receive cheaper medical care year-round. This in itself should testify to the fact that Mexico can provide a safe and friendly environment for Americans not only to visit, but also to live permanently in (a search for “American retirees in Mexico” produces a whopping 3,460,000 Google results!). Of course, the same regular safety precautions that apply everywhere, apply in Mexico as well. They include:
· Don’t walk around alone after dark. Use the buddy system, but even if there are two of you, you should avoid alleys and other places with few or no people.
· Be careful about your belongings. Tourists are a magnet for theft in any country. Be careful where you set your bag. If you are wearing a backpack, wear it in front of you in all crowded areas.
· Don’t carry large amounts of cash. First of all, it’s best to carry smaller amounts of money whenever possible. Do not bring along your flashy watches and expensive jewelry when you travel to Mexico for your medical treatment. In case you do have a run-in with a mugger, you don’t want to give up too much!
· Keep scanned copies of your important documents. Do not forget to keep scanned copies of your passport, medical reports and other documents in the network (a self-marked e-mail should suffice). This should aid in quick and easy access to your documents in case they are lost or stolen.
· Don’t resist. You never know who has a weapon, so it’s better to just surrender your stuff when attacked by a mugger. Remember, your safety is more important than your things.
· Get to know your hotel staff. It’s always a good idea to know the people around you. Take the hotel number and if at all possible, the cell phone number of the manager. That way you will have someone local to call in the event of an emergency.
These are just a few tips to alleviate any concerns you might have about medical travel in Mexico. If you do your research well and come with an open mind, you will have an amazing time and a great experience as a medical tourist in Mexico.
Dr. Deepika Garg – Dentist and an Internet enthusiast, who is keenly involved in medical tourism – and works with sites that provide gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, lap band in Mexico at affordable prices. Weight loss surgery in Mexico is being opted by many American and Canadians, who cannot afford the cost of the same in their own countries.