The concept of “Medical Tourism” in Southeast Mexico has been taken to the next level in the city of Merida Yucatan.
We have to start by saying that, in Prehispanic times, the Maya were expert herbalists. They knew of the healing powers of many different plants, herbs, trees and roots, and had them perfectly classified for the treatment of diverse illnesses.
While in modern times, the state of Yucatan has been known for its great tradition of study and practice of medicine that goes all the way back to the early sixteenth century.
The first hospital in the city of Merida, and the state of Yucatan was founded almost immediately after the Spanish conquest, on May 18, 1562. Years later, it became a hospital and convent, and in 1625 it was named “Hospital San Juan de Dios”.
The Church of la Mejorada was inaugurated on January 22, 1640, and from 1688 to 1694 the building was used as a hospital by Franciscan Friars.
Two centuries later, in the year 1833 the School of Medicine of Yucatan is founded by Dr. Ignacio Vado Lugo, and it turned into the Special School of Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacy on 1869.
On February 6, 1906 the General Hospital Dr. Agustin O’Horan was inaugurated, and in 1952, the new building of the School of Medicine opened its doors on Avenida Itzáes, where it is still today.
Today, in the XXI Century Mérida is known for the quality of its medical facilities, for the competence, honesty and kindness of their doctors, and for the large number of highly qualified specialists in different fields.
Mérida is being known as the Mexican city with highest levels of quality living, services and security.
It has been a medical hub not only for the southern states of Mexico such as Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche and Quintana Roo, but also for other Central American countries such as Guatemala and Belize for nearly 100 years.
Merida has convenient direct flights from Miami, Houston, Dallas Ft Worth, Toronto, Milan, Rome, Havana and Belize City; as well as from major national destinations such as Monterrey, Guadalajara, Veracruz, Toluca and Mexico City.
Besides, “The White City” boasts a wide range of hotels for visitors who come to receive medical treatment. Many of these world class accomodations can serve as the ideal retreat to recover from a surgery.
Merida has become a popular retirement destination for thousands of American, Canadian and European citizens wishing to have affordable, vacation type retirement living, and therefore, these residents require high quality medical services.
Quality and Warmth
Mérida clinics offer something not always found in the U.S. As people say in Spanish: calidad y calidez, quality and warmth.
When you are sick, you need medical support. You also need emotional support. That is something that Mexican physicians provide. They treat you as a person, not as a Social Security or Insurance policy number
In contrast to the rushed doctor-patient encounters in the United States, physicians in Mexico develop long-term relationships with their patients, who return again and again, often bringing family members along.
But probably the most important reason why people is coming to Mérida for medical services is the fact that they are saving a lot of money by doing so.
In 2009 a study by UCLA found that nearly half a million California residents receive medical, dental or prescription services every year south of the border due to the great difference in price.
For example, the average cost of total hip replacement in the United States is about US$30,000, the same procedure in Mexico may cost 50% off that price, depending upon where it is performed.
Mexico has been successfully performing total hip replacement surgeries since the early 1970’s, nearly as long as the USA, and doctors in Mexico actually have considerably more experience in the newer, less-invasive procedure known as hip resurfacing.
So, for US$20,000 (two thirds of the price in the US), the patient can cover the price of the surgical procedure, the plane tickets and recovery accomodations, and still save US$10,000.
For more information about Merida’s hospital facilities and other medical providers and clinics, please visit www.yucatanhealthcare.com
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