Mexico is the second largest hub of medical tourism in the world. The industry brings lucrative economic opportunities, providing quality healthcare services at an accessible cost. While other states of Mexico have the potential for medical tourism, Tijuana is the most popular destination where patients visit to receive quality care.
Patients from countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, or the UK find Tijuana an attractive healthcare destination. It offers cost savings between 35% and 85%, especially in surgical procedures. However, to become a medical tourism hub, it is crucial to align both medical care and tourism.
Tijuana is the largest city in Baja California and the hub of financial and industrial services in Mexico. Every year, over 2.5 million patients from Canada and the United States visit Tijuana to receive high-quality medical care. Here’s why:
- International patients typically consider it as a low-cost option for health care without compromising quality.
- Tijuana stands as one of the world’s most-visited destinations for a variety of medical procedures. The city provides healthcare services in the fields of bariatric surgery, cosmetic or plastic surgery, dentistry, orthopedics, ophthalmology, regenerative medicine, and infertility. Renew Bariatrics reports that over 10,000 patients travel to Tijuana yearly for bariatric surgery.
- In addition to cost competitiveness, the city is also the home to highly experienced and board-certified healthcare specialists. There are qualified medical professionals across different branches of medicine, who have received specialized training abroad and in Mexico. Specifically, Mexico is home to dozens of highly trained board-certified bariatric surgeons catering to US patients.
- Another reason why Tijuana attracts heavy footfall is its proximity to the United States. It is the border city of Mexico, providing easy access to international patients who want to visit for medical services.
- Keeping pace with the growing demand for medical tourism, the Mexican government has been continuously investing in setting up state-of-the-art medical facilities, hospitals, and clinics in Tijuana.
So, patients can be guaranteed to receive quality healthcare services in an updated & safe environment with modern technological advancements. At the recent annual tourism conference, Tianguis Turistico, officials of Baja California reported a double-digit growth in international patients visiting the country for dental and medical work. As per official figures, over 4.2 million tourists visited Baja California in 2022 for health reasons and spent more than $1.6 million on services.
Rising demand for medical tourism attracts more investments in hospitals and medical facilities
The demand for medical tourism is rising in Mexico, particularly in Tijuana. This has spurred initiatives to set up more hospitals and medical facilities. The city has several hospitals, surgical centers, and clinics that are especially popular with European, Canadian, and American visitors. These hospitals are accredited by ISO and JCI, and equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
There were numerous other projects in the pipeline, such as setting up new hospitals, clinical centers, airports, hotels, and restaurants to support medical tourism. However, the projects came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Post-covid, the industry is again getting back to the new normal. This has sparked the development of projects intending to provide high standards of quality throughout the medical tourism value chain.
Keeping pace with the demand, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) plans to invest approximately $677.2 million by 2024 to build 111 new hospitals. The investment is expected to bolster infrastructure development for surgeries in clinical and hospital settings. Another addition to the medical tourism lure – construction of a $66 million, 33-storey medical building has recently started in Tijuana’s Zona Rio.
As published in ITIJ in August 2023, the construction of Tijuana’s second general hospital is underway. It is expected to be fully functional by early 2024. The $12.1 million facility in eastern Cañadas El Florido district will have 60 hospital beds, a blood bank, and outpatient service. It will have facilities for internal medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics, trauma care, surgery, and orthopedics. The hospital will play an integral role in increasing the city’s healthcare capacity and cater to the huge influx of tourists visiting for medical purposes.
Another major economic activity in Tijuana is the set-up of the New City Medical Plaza, situated on the Paseo Centenario. The key highlight of the complex is its massive medical tower. It has clinics catering to different specialties, medical offices, rehabilitation spas, operating rooms, and alternative medicine rooms. Additionally, it has a luxury hotel designed for international patients. The Plaza also has shopping areas, restaurants, and an exhibition center to provide comprehensive tourism experiences.
A $120 million hospital was in the pipeline in 2016, which was a collaboration of Scripps Health and Sistemas Medicos Nacionales S.A. (SIMNSA). The first phase of the hospital was expected to be completed by 2018. In addition to the new hospitals and clinics being set up in the city, Tijuana already has world-class medical facilities. NewCity Hospital provides specialized treatments, supported by certified physicians and modern equipment.
Blue Medical Tower is one of the best and most innovative cosmetic and bariatric surgery centers in Tijuana. Obesity Control Center and Hospital BCN are a few other top facilities catering to the medical tourism surge in the city.
The article Tijuana’s medical tourism industry spurs new hospitals and surgery centers first appeared in TravelDailyNews International.
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Author: Apollonas Kritikos