Merida, Yucatán: A hub for medical care

There are several views on medical tourism in Mexico, but it is important to realize that to talk about Mexico is to talk about a country with different styles and particularities. There are characteristics that naturally drive states toward specific activities, some of them being very successful in industry, manufacturing or agricultural activities.

Other states in Mexico count on other assets. For example, Yucatan is strong for tourism activities, considering it is surrounded by the most beautiful natural attractions positioning the tourism offerings above many destinations that do not have beaches, haciendas, cultural sites or the Mayan civilization.

It is important to mention that Mexico is ranked as the second destination in the world for medical tourism, as reflected by the statistics come from the U.S border where most of the patients attend just by crossing over by car. Unlike other states, Yucatan does not have a border with the U.S. but is the most successful state in the south of Mexico in terms of health, education and safety. This has turned the city into the favorite destination for visitors coming from Tabasco, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Veracruz or Chiapas who specifically come for ambulatory procedures, such as dental health, or even for more complex treatments such as oncology or cardiovascular illness.

Star Médica Hospital, Mérida, Yuc. (Photo: Star Médica)

Merida, the capital, is connected with both East and West of the U.S. through direct flights from Houston, Miami and Dallas. It also has connectivity with Toronto for less than 4 hours, helping to grow the flow of medical tourists and business travelers. Assets include the notable quality of its 4,500 doctors and the accommodation infrastructure, which can host people either in a house for rent, a five star hotel, a hacienda or in business suites, all ready for medical recovering.

The Government of the state has launched a medical platform, Yucatan Healthcare, where most of the patients can search for the institution that best suits their needs and take advantage of the nice warm weather, especially during the winter season, where large Canadian communities move creating a unique cluster, hard to find in other places around Mexico. More than $550,000 USD have been spent during 2016 to promote the state as a medical destination, leading as well, to more international certifications obtained by the clinics and doctors to improve their systems and get ready to be competitive and under the same rules that U.S. and Canada manage nowadays.

Star Médica Hospital, Mérida, Yuc. (Photo: Star Médica)

The figure of the medical broker is the paramount. In other industries such as real state or construction, it is true that a house or complex can be sold without help, but the specialists that have formed around constructors have professionalized the industry with fewer risks to clients. Similarly, the needs of patients going to an unknown destination alone has bestowed the industry with professionals that can give personal help avoiding pitfalls and helping the clients to smooth the process.

Star Médica Hospital, Mérida, Yuc. (Photo: Star Médica)

Getting to know the patient’s budget and needs, the facilitator or broker is the link between the patients and the doctors, arranging everything that goes from accommodations, recommendations, arrangements, translations, special requirements and 24 hour assistance.

Star Médica Hospital, Mérida, Yuc. (Photo: Star Médica)

This way of “Tailor-Made Yucatan” has been successful leading to excellent results, giving faster responses and lower costs. 2017 – 2018 goal is to increase the flow of patients at least 100%.

For all the travelers considering a medical treatment out of their hometown, there is an open invitation to obtain a quotation and a check list of all the benefits you could find taking Merida as an option for medical treatments; you will get a nice surprise without any doubt.

By Lic. José Enrique Lixa

lixaJosé Enrique Lixa  has a marketing degree from Mérida’s Universidad Marista.
He is a member of the Parque Tecnia Anáhuac entrepreneurs network with 10 years of experience as consultant and promoter of international business in the State of Yucatan.
Exhibitor at more than 50 international events promoting Yucatan.
Manager and facilitator of Medical Tourism in the State of Yucatán
Collaborator and adviser to the Canadian Healthcare Council based in Ottawa.
Collaborator of the local company Yucatán Medical Services.
Active participant since 2013 in the events of the Medical Tourism Association, Destination Health Canada and other Medical Tourism Congresses in Mexico.