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.





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.


Author Bio:

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.

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17 Responses to What Is Medical Tourism?

  1. Jon

    March 21, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Another excellent post, Barbie! I’m so glad I signed up for your newsletter. Keep them coming! Appreciate it.

  2. Sarah

    March 21, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Two of my friends got their lap band surgery done across the border for a mere 30% of what it would have cost to have it done in the U.S. The procedure was performed in a hospital that had all the amenities including Wi-Fi! Their rooms were gorgeous and put to shame the hospital rooms in the U.S. I’m sure a lot of people have this idea of Mexico being a shady place, but you have to realize that there are also very wealthy Mexicans, too, as well as middle-class Mexicans and they have money, so of course there is going to be an established medical system over there that is just as good as “ours”.

    We am going to Algodones next week. We also chose Gator Dental. I have an appointment to get get an implant as my current bridge is problematic and was never done right by our in-town dentist. My husband will get a few fillings done. We got our X-rays and checkups done here and are taking them with us so we know exactly what we need. The price compared to our “local” dentist? Amazing. We’re saving about $4,000 which more than pays for the trip.

  3. Bob Hanson

    March 21, 2012 at 1:45 am

    A lot of people may be hesitant to go to Mexico for an operation, but if you do your research right, you’ll receive the same level of care (if not a higher quality of care) than you would get in America. My wife had painful burs removed (literally sanded down) and the surgery was performed across the border because our insurance would not cover it in the United States. Everything you said was right on the money. We did all of that (asked a lot of questions, verified, etc, etc. All the same stuff you should do regardless of where you decide to have a medical procedure done. It’s just commonsense. You crossed all the T’s and dotted all the I’s. Well done!

  4. larry gorski

    March 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

    I had dental work done in late 2010 and am headed back in April of this year for more. The dentist is great and I have had dentists here in the states say that the work was very good.

  5. Barbie


    March 21, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for your input Larry! Barbie

  6. Dixie McCormick

    March 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Hi Barbie,

    I went to stay at a friends home Santa Anita. Took the train to San Diego and then the trolly that took me to TJ. From there a cab took me right to the door of a dentist I had contacted on the internet,(and researched.) After taking impressions he directed me to a dentist walking distance away where he did two root canals. I went back on the train for a few days of fun in the sun at my friends home, then went back and got the crowns put on. Total cost $1,100 for two root canals, crowns, air fare and train fare (from the NW) plus meals out. I got a nice vacation out of the deal and fun two beautiful teeth…that are now seven years old and no problems at all. My local doctor had given me the price of $10,000 for just the dental work, no fun in the sun! I had no problems in TJ. People were nice and friendly.
    Keep up the good work Barbie!

  7. Barbie


    March 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Excellent! And my two implants – well, I usually forget I even have them – they are just teeth – wonderful :) Barbie


    March 26, 2012 at 1:54 am


  9. Jackie Martinez

    March 26, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Thanks Barbie for the updates. My husband and I are planning to retire in Mexico, health care is one of the reasons for this decision. My husband often gets dental and medical care done in Mexico when he goes to visit his family.
    Ultimately, I would like to settle in central Mexico like Lake Chapala, but for now because of aging parents its probably going to be Ensenada.
    We’re hoping to make this happen within a year but with the economy who knows.
    Thanks again.


  10. Jose M Gomez

    March 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I’ve had a couple of dental implants done in Monterrey. Dr Rolando Arroyave, excellent work, excellent prices.

  11. barbie

    March 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Barbie a nice article very informative keep up the good work.

    Rick Hamilton

  12. Barbie


    March 29, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks for the info – could you share a bit on your expenses, please? Thanks. Barbie

  13. Zvi

    May 16, 2012 at 3:42 am

    We have also gone many places for my cousin medical treatment. Sometimes medical tourism saves lots of money as u said in happens in Mexico. Reading your article I wish to visit Mexico for at least medical tourism. I hope it fulfils my expectation about the beautiful surroundings and places to visit in Mexico.

  14. barb

    August 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    For at home safety, in the States, Dick and I both have a little unit we wear around our neck, that if you push the button, you are connected immediately to 911 and can ask for help right then! It includes a little unit that plugs into your phone system, and that’s all you need.

  15. larry gorski

    March 23, 2013 at 7:08 am

    I sent a comment kast week asking how do you find truck routs. you sid that going through Nogale take the truck route to cross the boarder, How do you know them?

  16. Paul Halenbeck

    March 23, 2013 at 11:55 am

    We are just back from Playa del Carmen where we got $7000 of bridge and crowns for $1550. Dr. Gracias office and skills were excellent.

  17. Barbie


    March 31, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Hi Larry – Last time we were through there, they were posted.

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