Health Care in Mexico

by Jose Marc Castro on August 8, 2009

healthcareAUSTRALIAWhen you are about to consider on moving, one concern that you should properly deal is health care. Fortunately, you can actually find out that generally, health care in Mexico is very impressive, and in most places, very excellent.

Mexico, originally known as the United Mexican States is a Northern American Country that is bounded by the United States on the North, the North Pacific Ocean on the west and south, the Gulf of Mexico on the east, the Caribbean Sea, Guatemala and Belize on its Southeast. Mexico is composed of thirty one republican federation states, and it s capital is Mexico City.

Mexico is a fast increasing city. Having a free market economy, Mexico is considered as the 12th largest economy worldwide, as measured in the purchasing power parity of the Gross Domestic Product.  Tourism in Mexico is also another thing that the country is proud of. Receiving more than twenty million visitors annually, Mexico was seventh of the world’s most popular tourist destinations in 2005. The country, being on a coastal area, is also home to one of the best beaches in the world, drawing the attention of millions of beach lovers all over the world.

With the fast increase of the economy, along with the best havens of destinations, plus the best beaches with the most pristine waters, no wonder a lot of people are thinking about emigrating in this Northern American country. However, these destinations should be the least of your concerns, especially if you are really bent on moving permanently on this country. Health care is one major factor to think about it.

Health Care Basics of Mexico

The current healthcare system in Mexico is a pluralistic health care system which is a combination of public and private programs. The country spends 6.6% of its GDP on health that provides only health insurance to 40% of the population.

People who plan on moving to Mexico are very lucky since health care in this middle-class country is never a problem. Generally, the health care in Mexico is really excellent, and in most places, is positively exceptional. Most of the health care practitioners in Mexico, like the doctors and the dentists are trained in western countries like the United States. And consequently, there are also some American doctors that have their trainings in Mexico, most particularly in Guadalajara.

Mid-sized and large cities in Mexico have one first-rate hospital at least. What is good about health care in Mexico is that the costs are generally lower than one might expect to pay in the US. The same thing also applies for those prescription drugs. Those prescription drugs that are manufactured in Mexico are about fifty percent less on the average, compared with similar drugs manufactured in the United States.

Aside from affordable costs of services and prescription drugs, larger centers in Mexico offer first class restaurants plus full ranges of health care. In fact, a lot of Northern Americans travel in Mexico for some simple dental work or minor surgeries since rates are considerably more affordable. Pharmaceuticals are also widely available at prices relatively lower than those in Canada or in the United States. Aside from well-trained doctors and medical practitioners, they even consider house calls! Now that is something that you cannot find elsewhere!

In a nutshell, an expat in Mexico shared their experience in Mexico Expat Forum last August 29,2009:

What might make sense to do is to find out, preferably in person, how much your medical care and medications would cost you in SMA. (BTW, you could live a lot cheaper in a lot of other places in Mexico, including some places lakeside.) You would need to consult a local doctor and, if needed, the most appropriate hospital institution for your condition(s). The hospital costs may include the services of any specialists you need to consult. You would need to ensure that there would be no problems getting an MD in Mexico to write your Rx’s, since the drugs you are taking require this here. See if one of the doctor(s) would translate your meds into the generic (where available) Mexican equivalent drug in Spanish. Then you would need to take a list of your medications to at least four pharmacies that carry them all to get quotes. You will probably find that the prices vary from one pharmacy to another significantly, sometimes by a huge amount, so the multiple quotes are a necessity. Then you would be in a position to make some decisions. Mexico might just turn out to be affordable for you without private insurance which, if you could get it, would cost at least $3,000 USD/year if not a lot more.

Some Health Concerns in Mexico

Compared to some other countries, there are some health risks more evident and prominent in Mexico simply because of its lifestyle and culture. Mexico has shown a rapid increase of health problems due to pesticide use. In fact, this problem is starting to become one major area of concerns, particularly in states like the Chiapas wherein fifty-eight percent of its total population is engaged in agricultural works as well as pesticide uses. Although most of the residents are already aware of the importance of safety precautions that has to be taking into consideration, the public concern lacks for any possible serious problem that could progress.  Also, cultural beliefs are important in analyzing varied health concerns along with the way on how the population interprets them. Another major health concern is the fast increase of the AIDS epidemic. AIDS ranked eleventh in 1988 as the leading cause of death of Mexicans but in a span of eight years, it has become the third leading cause of mortality.

Emigrating? Here’s What to Expect…

Generally, the costs of those medical care services vary a lot by hospital, by physician, or by the seriousness of one’s conditions. On the average, an office with a doctor-specialist included, could cost you between 250 and 300 pesos, or roughly about twenty five dollars. Lab tests could cost about one-third of what its real cost is in the United States. CAT scans are 25% more affordable than what it rates in the US. Overnight stays in private hospital rooms can only cost you about three-hundred pesos, roughly about $35 only. Furthermore, visiting the dentist for some teeth cleaning procedures only costs two hundred pesos or $20. Indeed, health care in Mexico is very much affordable as compared to the rates in the United States.

As shared in Mexico Expat Forum last January 2, 2009:

you might do better with a Mexican insurance company when you get here. International plans appear to be expensive and designed for travelers who visit many countries. If you will be living in Mexico, you will want coverage that is familiar to the hospitals you are likely to use. Many of the larger private hospitals in Guadalajara have insurance offices on the premises.

Additionally, in some major cities in Mexico, the best-quality medical care is also possible for any serious medical conditions. These conditions include major surgeries and dialysis for a fraction of a usual payment in the US. However, it is not suitable to move in Mexico if one is suffering from serious medical conditions that requires special equipments since getting ill in a foreign land is very stressful than you might think.

Health Care of Mexico Today

Presently, as more people are planning to emigrate into this beautiful and stunning country, developments of better health care methods are carefully done like making hospitals that are equipped with the latest in medical technology. Aside from having the best medical practitioners and the most accommodating medical staff, the health care of Mexico has continuously made a name of its own as one of the very few countries that provide relatively affordable health care rates. From medicines to medical services, everything is surprisingly just within one’s reach.

Once you have fully understood the issues that govern in moving from one land to another, and you already have a strong conviction of your decision, then what are you waiting for? Pack those bags now and start a life away from your native homeland.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

marcelle March 7, 2011 at 5:35 am

i was in puerto escondido this jan. for 6 wks. had my teeth cleaned for 400 pesos(35$) can. great job. in can. it would have cost me$100$. for a capped tooth ($180). here at lease $600 , if not more. love mexico.

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Mischa April 30, 2011 at 6:58 am

My friend was in Mexico this summer and told me that the health care for Mexicans is horrible but when for tourists it's quite acceptable but is nothing when comparing to US healthcare

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trucchi slot machine May 3, 2011 at 7:09 am

very good!!!

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Mouse November 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Mexico isn't a city…

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bob December 6, 2012 at 5:38 am

Hi Mouse,

Mexicans will often say "Mexico" when they are referring to Mexico City. I guess it's like saying "Washington" when you are referring to Washington, D.C., and not Washington state.

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