When people talk about Mexico, the first thing that comes to mind are spring breaks spent in one of its many beautiful beaches. Indeed, about 150,000 Americans flock to this South American country each year, and tourism is already its fifth-biggest source of national revenue (and will be the third-biggest by 2018). However, college students, honeymooners or retirees are not the only ones who cross the border to Mexico. As this article from KPBS.org shares, the country in the southern part of North America is also home to another type of tourism:

“Medical tourism to Baja California has risen nearly 18 percent since 2010, Mexico’s Frontera newspaper reports.

The head of Baja California’s medical tourism cluster, Karim Chalita Rodríguez, told Frontera that more than 500,000 visitors have sought medical or dental care in Baja California this year.

Most medical tourists are from California, but Mexican border cities are making a big push to attract visitors from inland states as well. As we’ve reported, a van service drives people from Las Vegas to Mexicali monthly for medical services.

The trip, at just $30 round-trip, is subsidized by the Mexicali tourism board. Authorities have even managed to get around the long border waits that might scare people off by offering special lanes to speed medical tourists back to the U.S.

Medical tourism, as it’s come to be known, is a growing trend wherein people travel abroad for more affordable health care. For example, most Americans know that a trip to a hospital within the US is often more expensive than an actual trip to Mexico, thus prompting them to seek medical attention here instead. People also get treatment abroad when certain medical services are not available in their country or if their health insurance does not cover the costs of a procedure at home.”

What’s more, you can even get liposuction in Mexico (as well as other cosmetic surgeries), in cities like Tijuana. While many want to get this procedure to be rid of troublesome fat, most insurance companies consider it a cosmetic procedure and will not offer coverage for it. Journey a couple of hours south, however, and you can save thousands of dollars on liposuction while still getting the same high level of care offered stateside.

Of course, prospective medical tourists should also conduct due diligence. For starters, keep your own doctor informed about your plan to get surgery abroad and prepare all your medical records for easy reference. More importantly, choose only trusted Mexico liposuction clinics like CosMed to get the best service for your money.


(Article Information and Image from Medical Tourism Booming In Baja California, KPBS.org, December 16, 2013)