Friday, August 23, 2013

Mexican Business Web

Baja California is one of the Mexican states spearheading medical tourism, insofar as it directly impacts activities carried out in 20 local economic sectors.
Judith Santiago, Mexican Business Web

Annually, foreign exchange from tourists 
coming to Baja California looking for medical services totals US$89 million.

The Mexican border state annually averages 450,000 tourists, mainly from the United States.

Juan Benjamin Tintos Funcke, Secretary of Tourism of Baja California, told Mexican Business Web that this is a very sensitive activity that is constantly monitored, [and being] promoted among the Latino population of the United States.

The Mexican border state is even preparing a strategy in order to promote medical tourism in the United States. The plan involves ten hospitals, 600 medical specialists, and twelve pharmaceutical chains.

The prospect is to invest $15 million pesos to attract 15 million tourists, who will bring in an estimated US$8 million in additional resources to this sector annually.

Another issue that will spark development and business opportunities in Baja California in this tourism sector is health reform in the United States.

The Baja California head of tourism said that, if approved, the installed capacity in border states is insufficient to meet the demand, thus the arrival of more tourists seeking medical treatment in the cities of Mexicali and Tijuana is foreseen.

Another advantage the Mexican state offers, for medical tourism from the U.S., is border crossings with an exclusive medical lane so that travelers can come to Tijuana and Mexicali more accessibly.
It is predominantly the Latino population in California who visit Tijuana and Mexicali in search of specialties in dentistry, optometry, sports medicine, [and] surgery.

They also come to purchase medications and to undergo cosmetic surgeries, such as liposuction, Botox application, and gastric banding, as well as for spa services at Rancho La Puerta, considered one of the greatest in the world.

Tintos Funcke said tourists are resorting to the state's medical services because they are between 40% and 60% cheaper than in their country.

He added that they also seek services based on quality and the treatment that they will receive at the various health institutions, plus the clinics and physicians are certified by the Secretariat of Health, which is a trust factor for the tourist.

The increase of medical tourism in Baja California arises because there is a decline in health services in the United States, which represents a competitive advantage for the Mexican entity, along with the development of new business opportunities.

Mexican Business Web, July 26, 2013, Mexico, DF; edited translation by

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