|12 million medical tourists per year|
Renee-Marie Stephano, president of The Medical Tourism Association, sponsor of the event, recognizes the fact that thousands of Americans travel to Mexico, not just to enjoy its beaches, culture, and natural beauty, but also to get the health care that they can't afford in the United States.
So, how popular is Mexico as a medical tourism destination?
In 2013, 12 million international tourists came to Mexico for health related trips, which is the equivalent to 10% of the country's population. Out of those 6.5 million are Americans. The main reason they come to Mexico is the lower cost of health care and medical services. Depending on the procedure sought, an American patient can save from 40% to 90% of the money he would have payed in the United States.
Moreover, Americans are also lured by the short distance, which means cheaper transportation costs; the quality of the service, due to Mexican doctors typically receiving all or part of their training in the United States or Europe; and the warmth of the service, which is very different from the automated process in the United States.
Also, since the industry is generating $2.85 billion dollars per year, it's not a surprise that the Mexican government is investing in infrastructure, safety, and promotion for international tourists.
These numbers don't take into account the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have chosen to live in Mexico and that use the local medical services.
Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.
If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works.