When Veronica Merrill decided that she wanted to reduce her stomach to lose weight, she found two options: pay $ 12,000 in the United States or get it in Mexico for 5200. For this reason, she packed her suitcase and opted for the latter.
The insurance she has would only pay for the operation of being morbidly obese, with diabetes and hypertension, and this is not the case of this 50-year-old American, who today weighs 95 kilograms and aspires to reach 72, precisely because she believes that “it would be better to prevent” to be sick.
Determined and after researching medical tourism options, she raised the money and contacted a specialized agent to organize her trip to Tijuana, Mexico, where weight loss operations and dental treatments are the most popular procedures.
Some also travel to treat cardiovascular, orthopedic, fertility or cancer conditions, as well as to buy medicine.
“If I only had the option of having surgery in the United States, I just wouldn’t. I can’t afford that much, ” Merrill said.
The doctor chosen by his medical tour facilitators Fenix Health and Wellness, who extracted 80% of Merril’s stomach, assures that in his hospital he operates daily between two or more foreigners. It ensures that the largest flow of patients is during the tax refund season in the United States, after April.
About medical tourism
- It is estimated that about 20 million patients do medical tourism each year in the world, according to the specialized guide Patients Beyond Borders, which counts 1.9 million Americans traveling outside their borders to receive medical care.
- Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic are among the frequent destinations in Latin America, according to a specialized index. They offer low costs and quality infrastructure.
- Only to Tijuana, 4.7 million people travel per year, including patients and companions, according to a study published in 2019.