Medical tourism is growing in Mexico. That’s the word from Luis Alegre Salazar, president of the Tourism Commission in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies.
“Medical tourism generated $3,270,000 in 2015, and $23 million in 2018,” he told attendees at this year’s Tianguis Turistico, the nation’s tourism conference. And there are more ways than ever for visitors to get a variety of medical and dental procedures performed around the country.
According to Patients Beyond Borders, a medical tourism resource, Mexico is one of the world’s top destinations for travelers looking to have medical and dental work done. Slated to debut in 2020, the nearly 100,000-square-foot Princess Hospital will open in Acapulco’s Diamante district, complete with operating rooms, a clinical laboratory and radiology and rehabilitation departments.
Medical tourism generated $3,270,000 in 2015, and $23 million in 2018.
New options are also in the works in the state of Quintana Roo, especially in the Cancun area, where construction is underway on Health City, a large medical tourism complex created by Grupo Palace. Existing facilities designed for medical tourism in Cancun include Galenia Hospital, which is directly attached to the Four Points by Sheraton Cancun Centro and has specialties that include plastic surgery, oncology and traumatology.
Medical tourism has become part of Quintana Roo’s growth strategy, according to Marisol Vanegas, the state’s secretary of tourism.
“A major step for the growth of medical tourism in Quintana Roo has been the recognition of this segment of tourism activity, as well recognizing opportunities to diversify our line of tourism offerings,” she said.
While the final completion date for Health City has yet to be announced, City Express Plus Cancun Aeropuerto is currently open in the complex. The 120-room property includes both City Express Plus and City Express Suites, which is targeting the extended-stay market. The new property’s location highlights the company’s interest in offering accommodations to medical tourism clients.
The appeal of traveling to Mexico for medical and dental procedures is easy to understand, says Monica Narro, director of communication for City Express.
“Savings for a medical tourist who visits for surgery or other medical treatments in Mexico are between 35% and 85% compared to [what is available in] their country of origin,” she said.
City Express also reports that some 1.2 million people visit Mexico every year for medical attention, with most visits focused on 15 “medical clusters” in destinations that include Baja California, Mexico City, Puebla, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi and Yucatan.
As the nation’s largest metropolis, Mexico City is a logical hot spot for healthcare. Top choices for visitors include Medica Sur, a private teaching hospital that’s part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. The facility has a staff of English-speaking specialists who perform everything from cardiac surgery to organ transplants. In addition, the hospital offers services targeted at foreign patients that can include airport transfers and accommodations at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Mexico Medica Sur, which is located on-site.
Savings for a medical tourist who visits for surgery or other medical treatments in Mexico are between 35% and 85% compared to [what is available in] their country of origin.
Near the U.S.-Mexico border, travelers can find medical tourism options including Hospital Angeles, a company that operates hospitals in Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, and MediPlaza, which is located in Los Algodones, Baja California. MediPlaza offers everything from surgery to dental work, and patients can even find shopping and dining options here, as well. Also part of the facility is Cielito Lindo, a hotel that offers one free night for guests who spend more than $1,000, or three free nights for guests who spend more than $2,000 on dental work during their stay.
Mexico’s medical tourism industry is so strong along the border, in fact, that it can be part of the marketing efforts for U.S. destinations, too. MediPlaza, for example, is also promoted by VisitYuma, the tourism organization for neighboring Yuma, Ariz.
“VisitYuma works closely with our neighboring border town, Los Algodones, because it has such a positive impact on tourism in the Yuma area,” said Karen Harris, a spokesperson for VisitYuma.