Ever since Mexico has upgraded and regularized their standards in health care along with specialized doctors and very modern hospitals, thousands of Canadians and Americans are coming to this country every year for Medical Tourism. They are specifically planning their trip and their stay to attend to medical and dental necessities.
You may wonder what is the driving force behind these travels. Well, economics could be one main reason, but there are many others factors to take into account. The Canadian health system has great hospital infrastructure and health personnel, but they are over whelmed with the amount of patients that are in need of care, specially surgeries, therefore the waiting times for elective/non-emergency procedures can take up to months or years. Also the appointment times between visits to family health providers, referral to specialists, ordering special studies and scheduling surgeries are very much prolonged, whereas in Mexico all can be done within days, just with previous notification of the patient arriving.
On the US side costs of delivering care are quite high due to overhead expenses, ridiculous high liability insurance malpractice premiums and mark ups in consumables. This makes it almost impossible for an ordinary person to pay the price out of pocket, and health insurance policies limit many procedures and the large deductibles and co-payments may apply.
Modern communication technologies with smartphones and computers have also greatly contributed to the growing numbers of traveling patients. Aside from making them feel at home away from home, they can access and google information. So citizens of these countries are looking for alternatives elsewhere and Puerto Vallarta has become a favorite welcoming place for Medical and Dental travelers.
There are five major hospitals in the region with state of the art installations, over 350 medical specialists many with top certifications, and dozens of well qualified dentists, besides a Medical and Nursing School that were founded in 2007 by the University of Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta CUC Campus. The most common procedures that patients are seeking for are in the field of Orthopedics (Arthroscopic and Joint replacements), Bariatric Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, although many other specialists are keeping quite busy too, as well as the numerous dentists in town.
Written by: Dr. Max Greig, a well-known Orthopedic Surgeon of Punta Mita Hospital and founder of the University Medical School in Puerto Vallarta