Medical Tourism international industry sees a huge area of opportunity in Mérida, Yucatán.
In order to create strategies to promote medical tourism in the state, the Yucatan Chapter of the Mexican Board of Medical Tourism Industry, AC (Capítulo Yucatán del Consejo Mexicano de la Industria de Turismo Médico, A.C), will soon be established with the aim of bringing together experts in the area of health and wellness with those of tourism services, aiming at positioning the state as a pole in the field.
This was announced by Carlos Arceo Real, president of the Council, and José Rogelio Pérez Monsreal, founding president of the Yucatan Chapter of the Mexican Board of Medical Tourism Industry, AC, who led a presentation event at Hacienda Noc Ac, in November last yeat¿r.
The Council currently groups 178 entrepreneurs from the tourism and health sectors, and is the only one in the industry affiliated with the World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency that belongs to the United Nations.
The Council has alliances with 120 countries and works hand in hand with the three levels of government in Mexico, through the Secretariats of Tourism, Health and Economic Development.
The Minisry of Economic Development manages resources for health equipment for micro, small and medium-sized medical facilities, clinics and hospitals.
The Ministry of Health establishes the parameters of quality and safety so that patients have the certainty of receiving guaranteed care provided by certified medical staff.
Today, the Council has presence in seven states of the Mexican Republic including several magical towns across Mexico, such as Chapala and Taxco, which are attractive for Medical Tourism, as well as beach destinations, because it is not only about providing quality medical care, but also to give the patient and companions the opportunity to enjoy the tourist and natural attractions available at the place where medical attention is received.
Arceo Real points out that health tourism allows travelers to take advantage of high quality services at a much lower cost than in their countries of origin, nevertheless, medical tourists spend between two thousand and sixty thousand US dollars on average, depending on the treatment or surgical procedure to be performed.
Dental implants that cost between 7 and 8 thousand dollars in Mexico could cost twice as much in the United States; and an open-heart operation costs around 60 thousand US dollars in Mexico, while the same type of surgery could cost up to 120 thousand US dollars in the United States, just to provide two examples.
Area of opportunity
Carlos Arceo states that Mexico occupies the first place as a favorite destination for medical tourism for Americans and Canadians; and in the world scope it comes in second place, second only to Thailand.
“In Yucatan”, he points out, “you have everything to develop medical tourism, so it is our opportunity to join this growing market”.
Rogelio Pérez, who owns the Noc Ac Hacienda, says that special conditions are also required in hotels to receive medical tourists, and therefore, they have rooms designed for this purpose, not only in terms of accessibility which refers to the use of wheelchairs, but also special chairs, handles and other furniture for bathing.
When a patient travels for medical reasons, the average stay is nine nights minimum, when the current average for the city of Mérida is 1.8 nights, so with medical tourism, hotels do not have to depend on the high season, because this type of customer travels all year round.
Comprehensive all-around service
In medical tourism, experts work in the areas of health, tourism services and facilitators, who assist patients in order to fulfill their requirements.
Facilitators are bilingual people, that know their way around the city, and that help the patients from the moment they arrive at the airport, they become their “eyes and ears”, as they work as translators, drivers, or even tour guides, they provide their service to the patient, until he/she returns to his/her country.
Source: Diario de Yucatán
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