If you’ve been near the U.S.-Mexico border or heard your doctor say “You can find the cheapest medicine in x place,” you probably know the difference between the US and Mexican medical systems.
It’s known that many Americans prefer to travel to Mexico to save a couple of dollars (or thousands) in medical treatment, and it is not something new or something that started yesterday. The medical system in the U.S. is one of the most complex in the world. The United States does not have a uniform health system and has no universal healthcare coverage. The health disadvantage of the U.S. relative to other high-income countries is health disparities in health services.
The U.S. stands out from many countries, including Mexico, for not offering universal health insurance coverage and for the high cost of care. According to Statista, “over 1.16 million of these deaths occurred in the United States,” the top country in the world with the high number of death. Is it because people couldn’t afford to be treated? Is it because they were afraid of the cost afterward? According to Healthcare.com, “nearly 7800,000 people travel to Mexico for healthcare services between 2020-2022 due to the “better” quality and the lower cost.”
Let’s process this for a second. People wanted to travel across the country to another one during the most unknown and fearful disease, exposing themselves, and risking everything, just because it was and still is cheaper.
With all this being said, we can identify one of the causes/problems for Americans to travel anywhere else for health care. Around 1.2 million people traveled from the US to Mexico as “medical tourism” each year. Americans can receive a complete health checkout for less in Mexico. They can get their medicines without insurance, for less than half of the price in the U.S.
And, is it a good thing or a bad thing? Mexico is receiving all the money and bringing people to their places, it’s a win-win for them. But, what about Americans? Why is it too expensive for them in the U.S. to not be able to afford dental work? Or even unspecified procedures.
Why the U.S. healthcare system is not the best option for their citizens? We can argue and go over that all day, but the importance of this article is the fact of that decision. The decision to travel for a better health care system and then go back. It’s about the decision of ordering things from Mexico because it’s cheaper in pesos.
Overall, the peso is cheaper than the dollar. Mexico’s health care services/ systems are way too affordable to Americans. Yes, Mexicans can be affected by this, higher prices overtime, waiting time, and so on, but at the end of the day, doctors can receive more money. Medical tourism is a two-way door and won’t disappear. Just if the U.S. healthcare system changes, we might see a difference.