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Complete Guide to Medical Tourism in Mexico

Medical tourism is booming as more people seek affordable healthcare beyond their home countries. Mexico has become a popular destination for medical tourists thanks to its proximity to the U.S., affordability, and high-quality healthcare facilities.

According to Pacific Prime’s Cost Of Health Insurance Report, the U.S. is ranked #1 for the highest IPMI premiums in the world, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore. So, naturally, people from these countries look to countries that offer affordable and comprehensive healthcare.

In addition to medical treatment, Mexico offers tourists the chance to combine their medical trip with a vacation, exploring the country’s rich culture and beautiful beaches. This Pacific Prime Latin America guide will explore medical tourism in-depth and learn more about the costs of common procedures and treatments.

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What is the Healthcare System in Mexico?

Mexican healthcare is ranked 61 in the world by the WHO, and private hospitals are usually similar to those in the U.S.A. regarding service and quality. You can also find medical packages that offer accommodation and aftercare near scenic beaches.

Here is everything you need to know about healthcare in Mexico for expats and Americans at a glance:

  1. You will find the best healthcare clinics in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.
  2. Private clinics catering to Americans are located across the border in cities like Tijuana, Mexicali, and Laredo.
  3. Wait times in Mexico are almost non-existent.
  4. The cost of medicine in Mexico is almost half that of those in the U.S.A. and Canada.
  5. International patients can access private rooms and are offered personal interaction with their doctor/surgeon.

Looking for more information on public and private healthcare in Mexico? Find our detailed article here.

What are Some Common Treatments that Medical Tourists go to Mexico for?

While Mexico is considered cost-effective for medical tourism, especially for Americans, here are some of the most common treatments Mexican healthcare is famous for:

  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Dentistry
  • Aesthetic procedures (facials, botox, etc.)
  • Hip replacement
  • Knee replacement
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Eye surgery
  • Cardiac surgery

The Cost of Medical Treatment in Mexico

Cost of medical treatment for expats and international tourists is less when compared to that of the U.S.A. The Mexican government has favorable plans for locals (IMSS and EL INSABI) and tourists regarding healthcare.

Cosmetic surgery is one of the most sought-after procedures in Mexico. Patients can save up to 30-50% on treatments such as breast augmentation, liposuction, and facelifts, which are significantly more expensive in the U.S.A breast augmentation, for example, can cost up to USD $8,000 in the U.S., while in Mexico, it can cost as little as USD $3,500. Facelifts can also be more affordable in Mexico, ranging from USD $6,500 to USD $15,000 in the U.S.

Dental care is another popular medical tourism option in Mexico. Patients can save up to 50-70% on dental treatments such as routine cleanings, root canals, and dental implants. A root canal, for example, can cost up to USD $1,500 in the US, while in Mexico, the cost can be as low as USD $300.

Bariatric surgery is also a popular procedure in Mexico. Patients can save up to 40-60% on treatments such as gastric sleeve surgery, which can cost up to USD $20,000 in the U.S., but as little as USD $7,000 in Mexico.

Here is the cost of some common services and procedures in Mexico if paid out of pocket. Note that the prices may change from one healthcare provider to another and one location to another.

Treatment/Procedure  Price (USD)
Regular Doctor Visit 40-50
Routine Dental Checkup 40-50
Specialist Consultation 50-75
MRI 300-500
Dental Cleaning 30-35

Source: Healthcare in Mexico, International Living 

Cost of Medical Procedures in Mexico Compared to the U.S.A.

Medical Procedure/Surgery U.S.A. (USD) Mexico (USD)
Bypass Surgery 123,000 27,000
Angioplastia 28,200 11,500
Heart Valve Replacement 170,000 28,200
Hip Replacement 40,000 12,500
Hip Resurfacing 28,000 12,500
Knee Replacement 35,000 10,500
Spinal Fusion 110,000 22,500
Hysterectomy 15,400 4,500
Dental Implant (Per Tooth) 2,500 900
Breast Implants 6400 3800

Source: Health Tourism; Medical Tourism Association

Is it safe to get a medical procedure in Mexico?

Mexico has received the “Safe Travels” stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council, which means that the country follows global health and hygiene standards in its national destinations. This makes Mexico a safe option for medical tourism for several reasons:

  • The quality of healthcare services in Mexico is comparable to those in the U.S.
  • Mexico has the most certified hospitals in Latin America.
  • Modern medical equipment is readily available in major cities.
  • Medications in Mexico are also safe, just like in the U.S.

Most importantly, the healthcare system in Mexico is not driven by profit. To reduce risks, seeking medical care through a reliable mediator who works with certified and accredited healthcare providers may be helpful.

Why is healthcare cheap in Mexico? 

If you are wondering how Mexico can offer high-quality healthcare for almost less than half the price of the U.S., you are not alone. While the currency exchange rates play an important role, other important factors lead to lower healthcare prices, such as:

Lower Salaries

The salary the medical professionals earn is low compared to the U.S. across the entire spectrum of jobs.

Subsidized Tuition Fee 

Unlike the U.S., doctors in Mexico do not have the burden of college loans thanks to the country’s government subsidies.

No Malpractice Insurance 

Doctors do not have to purchase expensive medical malpractice insurance like the U.S. doctors, leading to lower patient fees.

No Corporate Pressure

Most physicians in Mexico practice without the involvement of any corporates. They enjoy total profits and, in turn, offer low-cost medical services to patients.

Low Medicine Cost

Prescription costs are about 30-60% less than in the U.S. So, the overall bill, including therapy, will be cheaper than in the U.S.

What is the Medical Insurance for Medical Tourism? 

Mexico’s affordable medical treatments, cultural attractions, and beautiful landscapes make it an ideal destination for medical tourists, with significant savings on cosmetic surgery, dental work, and bariatric surgery.

The U.S. government does not pay for medical care in Mexico, and Mexican hospitals require an up-front payment. So, if you’re considering medical tourism in Mexico, secure a comprehensive medical insurance plan that will cover all of your treatment costs.

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Secure Medical Insurance with Pacific Prime Latin America

With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, Pacific Prime Latin America has helped thousands of expats across the globe secure comprehensive international health insurance plans. From medical tourism to a fun holiday, insurance experts can help you find a plan that meets your requirements and budget.

Whether you’re planning a holiday or visiting Mexico’s healthcare providers, get in touch with Pacific Prime LAT for a FREE quote!

Lakshmi is an experienced writer with a passion for insurance trends and economics. She has been writing professionally for the past 6 years. Lakshmi has worked on numerous in-depth reports analyzing various insurance trends and providing valuable insights for readers.

Since joining Pacific Prime, Lakshmi has gained a comprehensive understanding of different kinds of health insurance and their importance in people's lives. Her expertise in this area has allowed her to produce informative and engaging content that helps individuals make informed decisions regarding their health insurance.

Lakshmi's clear, concise, and engaging writing style makes complex insurance concepts accessible to readers of all levels and also adheres to Pacific Prime’s motto: - “Simplifying Insurance.”
Lakshmi Chirumamilla