Millions Of People Are Going To Mexico To Recieve Better And Less Expensive Medical Care Than They Can Find In The U.S.

True story: the mom of a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Her doctor suggested a round of tests before she began with aggressive chemotherapy. Her medical care in California told her that it would take around three months to get her ready for chemo. Instead of taking their medical advice, my friend’s mom went to Tijuana and got chemo sooner than later.

Today she’s cancer-free. Her neighbor who was also diagnosed with cancer around the same time is still undergoing chemo. This is not to say that medical advice is the U.S. versus Mexico is better or less than; it just means that there are fewer restrictions. So it comes as no surprise that many U.S. citizens are going to Mexico to take care of their health.

Between 800,000 to 1 million people go to Mexico each year for medical procedures.


Patients Beyond Borders, a consumer publication about international medical and health travel, released the findings and reported that the actual number could be a lot higher.

One of the biggest reasons people travel to other countries, including Mexico, is because the price of healthcare is more capitalistic than humanitarian in the U.S.


Josef Woodman, the CEO of Patients Beyond Borders, said that he went to Cancun for his dental care. He told Newsweek that the dental work he needed would cost up to $15,900 in the U.S., but in Mexico, it only cost him $4,010.

“So, I saved about $10,000,” Woodman told the publication. “And that is not unusual. You can save a lot of money.”

He also said that people could save around 70 percent by going to Mexico, “Especially when you’re going for complex treatment.”

There are so many reasons why U.S. citizens go to Mexico for issues concerning their health.

  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Dentistry (general, restorative, cosmetic)
  • Cardiovascular (angioplasty, CABG, transplants)
  • Orthopedics (joint and spine; sports medicine)
  • Cancer (often high-acuity or last resort)
  • Reproductive (fertility, IVF, women’s health)
  • Weight loss (LAP-BAND, gastric bypass)
  • Scans, tests, health screenings, and second opinions.

With any medical procedure, there are complications and issues with traveling to another country.


“There’s always a potential risk,” he said. “If you don’t do your homework, your risks of traveling for care are probably higher. In many countries, the oversight isn’t as high, and you don’t have the same referral network.”

However, with the number of people going south for medical and dental care, it begs the question. Why is healthcare so expensive in the U.S. while the rest of the western world uses healthcare to treat their citizens, not make money off them?

READ: Next Time You Visit Your Doctor, Ask These Questions To Get The Most Out Of Your Appointment

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