Hospitals in Mexico draw many foreign patients each year as medical services in the country are available at just a fraction of their cost in the First World.
Thousands of medical tourists travel to Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Mexicali, Guadalajara, and even small towns like Los Algodones (which is very popular for dental work) to be able to get medical treatment that they cannot afford in their own countries.
If you, too, have planned to take a medical trip to Mexico this time, make sure you do your research well and land up at the right facility. Going to a foreign place is sure to trigger some concerns, but do not let it worry you too much. Some basic safety precautions and common sense is all it takes to make a great medical trip. Make a note of the following:
- Gang wars between drug lords and violent crime in Mexico are not uncommon, but do not let them scare you. The gang wars are not targeted at tourists and there is no evidence that they are targeted at any nationality; just make sure you are not at the wrong place at the wrong time.
- To avoid street crime & avoid being lost in the wrong place, it is suggested that medical tourists use hospital arranged transport or use authorized prepaid taxi services. It is suggested that you do not get drunk at nightclubs and bars.
- If you must use an ATM, do so at large, protected facilities, rather than at glass-enclosed, highly visible ATMs on streets. Most of our network hospitals in Mexico have ATMs & banking facilities inside the hospitals premises.
- Although your Mexico doctor and the medical staff at the hospital may speak fluent English, Spanish is the main language on the street and a small pocket translation dictionary may be very helpful.
- Driving on your own in Mexico is not recommended as the standards of road safety & driving style are not the same that you are used to in the United States or Canada.
- Mexico does have strict laws related to health, but they are loosely enforced. Hygiene standards vary in Mexico. Avoid street food and ice in your drinks and have only bottled water.
As mentioned before, there is no evidence to indicate that a medical tourist or foreign nationals are at any extra risk in Mexico. Taking some simple precautions should help you stay safe on your medical vacation in the Latin American country.