Chapala/Guadalajara - A Medical Travel “Mecca”
By Dan Sieben
The cost of
medical services has increased dramatically over the last few decades,
especially in the United
A heart bypass operation can cost a total of $100,000+ in the United States, while the same operation in Mexico can cost
around $20,000. This differential is
similar across the entire spectrum of medical procedures-gastric bypass,
plastic surgery, dental operations, hip replacement, etc.
At the same
time, the high quality of medical services provided in the Guadalajara area is finally being
recognized. For example, a Guadalajara provider of heart bypass procedures has one of
the lowest rates of post-operation infection-not just in Mexico, but in the entire World.
factors-price and quality-plus, for North Americans the nearby location of
Mexico, have combined to make Guadalajara one of the preferred destinations-worldwide-for
Medical Travel, defined simply as traveling from one place to another for a
Not only is the Guadalajara area a mecca
for provision of quality medical services, but it is also one of the most
popular destinations for tourism.
Ajijic, just 40 minutes south of Guadalajara
has been recognized by National Geographic as having the “second best climate
in the world.” Venues for relaxation,
beauty and non-strenuous activities abound.
Lake Chapala/Guadalajara will make sense for many individuals, not only for
elective, non-insurance-covered procedures such as cosmetic surgery, but also
for other procedures where the cost is so high that even the deductible amount
is higher than the cost in Mexico.
usually think of procedures like a hip replacement or breast implants when they
think of “medical travel” or “medical tourism,” dental procedures are also
becoming popular because of the dramatic savings. My wife and I recently decided to have our
teeth cleaned by an Ajijic-based dentist.
While doing the cleaning, the dentists identified five fillings (between
the two of us) that were important to do.
We had been aware of the necessity for fillings, but frankly we were
putting it off. Our California dentist quoted over $2,000 for
the five fillings. The cost for the
cleanings (the most comfortable either of us has ever had!) and the
fillings? US$150….less than 10% of our cost in the US!
And our dentist
(we now call him “our” dentist) is the first in the Lakeside
area to purchase and use one of the new digital machines that “manufactures”
precision teeth. As a result, he can
install a perfectly designed crown in one office visit-around two hours! Cost?
Less than US$275!
that with the rising costs of healthcare and the current confusion with the
Health Care Act in the United
States, many more individuals will be
traveling to this Medical Travel Mecca to save money AND have a wonderful
fell in love with Latin America when he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in
Peru back in the late 1960s…and he’s been returning for business and pleasure
ever since. Dan and his wife Kay plan to
sell their California
home and move to Ajijic sometime in the next year or so. He is the founder of a company recently
launched to assist people in traveling to the Lake Chapala/Guadalajara area for
medical and dental procedures. You can
learn about it at: www.mexamericare.com