USA-Mexico cross border medical travel

 

Advertorial feature

The team at Sani Dental Group in Mexico have more than 40 years’ experience, and are very familiar with receiving patients from all over the world, even during COVID-19. They believe that the lower cost of medical and dental treatments in countries like Mexico, combined with the ease of border crossing makes it an attractive destination for these individuals.

Why cross the border for a procedure?

It is difficult to calculate the precise number of how many Americans crossed the border for medical care in 2020. It’s not just Americans. Canadians are second to Americans in visiting Mexico to get dental care, surgery, and cosmetic treatments, or simply to save on medicines. As healthcare costs in the source countries continue to rise and insurance plans remain inadequate, it is expected that this number will continue to increase.

As we explained in our first article, ‘Is dental treatment in Mexico still a good idea?’, the main advantage of dental tourism is the lower prices. Another reason, contrary to what many believe, is the high quality of treatment that patients received in Mexican border cities.

Due to their proximity to the USA, the clinics in Mexico follow the same standards as the clinics there. The growth of these cities on the border has been accelerated by medical tourism. Los Algodones (also known as ‘Molar City’), a Mexican border town known receives thousands of medical tourists every year.

Which specialties do medical tourists travel for?

  • Eye Care. For those looking for prescription lenses or wanting to upgrade their sunglasses, many find that they can save hundreds of dollars buying them in Mexico. Travellers can get vision tests, and most eye clinics ensure that quality, brand-name products are available.
  • Cosmetic Surgery. Mexico is one of the main destinations for cosmetic surgery. However, as this specialty has become more popular, it has become common to hear about bad experiences of cosmetic surgery in Mexico. As with any other destination, the patients must do their part and research appropriate healthcare providers. Clinics that have the right equipment, medical staff, and follow the proper standards are certified by both national and international organisations, and can procide evidence of that.
  • Pharma Travel. In the Mexican cities that receive medical tourists, it is usual to see many pharmacies, often looking similar to the ones seen in American cities. Most patients can find the pharmaceuticals they need after their procedure, with the pharmacies offering a well-trained and bilingual staff to help.
  • Dentistry. For years, people who need extensive treatments on their teeth to allow simple activities such as talking or eating have been visiting these border towns to save money. The problem is not only for those who do not have insurance to cover such expenses. Even for patients who have insurance, their plans are not always comprehensive. They may not cover all dental expenses. Some of the most requested treatments among foreign patients are dental implants, veneers, bridges, and extractions.

A simple walk or drive across the border

Crossing to Mexico is easy. Visitors are asked to present a valid passport:the border patrol authorities identify this document as the best form of ID.

However, US citizens or permanent residents cross the border every day and without any trouble with their driver’s license and birth certificate card.

Most of the time, travellers are not asked for this document when entering Mexico, but they will need it to return to their country of residence.

Due to COVID-19, the US-Mexico international border crossing is temporarily limited only to essential travel, but this covers travel for medical and dental treatment. Currently, foreign patients continue to cross daily to receive such treatments.

The Canadian government is continuing to advise against non-essential travel outside of Canada. While this action is temporary, it is expected to continue for much of 2021.

With the pandemic, medical travel has changed forever, but the need for patients to have access to quality remains. As long as the demand continues, high quality clinics in Mexico will work to adapt their activities and meet the needs of patients, especially in making sure that the clinics are safe.

This is an advertorial feature, sponsored by Sani Dental Group.

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