Obtaining affordable healthcare is an important aspect of leading a successful life for many people, but most people probably don’t know much about what the healthcare system in Mexico is really like. In fact, many people travel south of the border for affordable medical and dental care every year, but how does the Mexico healthcare system actually work?
Getting Affordable Healthcare Coverage in Mexico
As the United States continues to struggle with providing affordable healthcare for all of its citizens, it can actually be cheaper to pay out-of-pocket for care in Mexico, where the healthcare system in Mexico has a mix of public insurance programs, employer-provided health insurance and out-of-pocket care.
“Hundreds of thousands of Americans are crossing the border into Mexico each year to receive a wide range of treatments, including medical services, dental care and cosmetic surgery,” wrote Newsweek. “According to Josef Woodman, CEO of Patients Beyond Borders, as many as 800,000 to 1 million American citizens make the trip from the U.S. to Mexico for affordable treatment each year.”
Woodman calls this number a “conservative estimate,” adding that thousands of citizens from other countries and undocumented immigrants also make the trip to Mexico each year for affordable medical care. The real cost is difficult to measure, since most medical travel is done privately.
So, what does affordable healthcare in Mexico really look like, anyway? Woodman says he’s even used healthcare system in Mexico for his own medical needs, with treatments that cost upwards of $15k in the U.S. only costing around $4k in Mexico. On average, Patients Beyond Borders estimates the savings to be as high as 40-70 percent, especially if you are going for a “complex treatment.”
As for any potential safety concerns, its important to note that certain risks always accompany medical procedures, but Woodman told Newsweek that Mexico is enjoying growing international recognition for state-of-the-art medical facilities, many of which are “world class” and Joint Commission International-accredited facilities; a designation that is considered to be the gold standard in approval systems for international healthcare companies.
“Many hospitals in Mexico enjoy affiliation with major educational institutions,” Newsweek wrote.
Ultimately, the primary keys to success are:
- Perform Due Diligence and Research
- Pursue Quality Healthcare Over Price Alone
Finally, it’s important to point out that most foreigners who travel to Mexico for affordable medical treatment use private hospitals and healthcare clinics, where the care is typically better and more sophisticated. Also, private facilities don’t have any impact on the country’s national public healthcare system, and as a result the number of private facilities has been growing by double-digits in Mexico during recent years.
“The development of medical tourism in Mexico has reinforced patient confidence in Mexican hospitals, and many of them get large numbers of foreign patients,” wrote Newsweek. “Some new hospitals are state-of-the-art and can be compared to the best in the world.”
Fortunately, practicing medicine is an international art, and many doctors and nurses already train in one country, before going to practice in another. If you check out the staff profiles at your local hospital, you will likely be able to see this for yourself!
Do you have questions about how to obtain affordable healthcare in Mexico? Ask us in the comments!