Mexico targets medical travellers with new hospitals

Mexico is opening new hospitals and wellness centres to target inbound medical tourism that is expected to grow in 2023.

Mexico has great expectations for the growth of medical tourism in 2023.

The Federal Ministry of Tourism is optimistic about the growth of medical tourism in the country. It recognises that for several years the sector been positioning and consolidating itself as a relevant subsector to attract foreign tourists.

Mexico has competitive advantages in terms of quality health services and care, good tourist infrastructure, and geographic proximity to the United States from where the largest number of patients come.  Treatment is offered at very affordable prices with shorter waiting times.

Most medical travellers are from the US states of California, Arizona and Texas. Patients from Canada are also attracted to services in the country, according to the Undersecretariat of Planning and Tourism Policy.

The Mexican government has definitions for the sector:

  • Health tourism: the process of leaving the country or state of residence to receive treatment and care abroad.
  • Medical tourism: surgical procedures and drug treatments; outpatient processes (dental, ophthalmological and some cosmetics).
  • Wellness tourism: activities aimed at relaxation, lifestyle changes, spas, spiritual retreats, retirement homes and assistance for the elderly.

New hospitals are being opened in the country, to target these medical travellers. Joya Cancún Hospital in Cancun claims to be the first of its kind in the city to focus specifically on medical tourism. It is the first hospital in the hotel zone, the tourist heart of the municipality. Future projects include new hospital units in Playa del Carmen and Tulum, both for medical tourism.

Many new hotels and resorts are also launching in and around Cancun due to its popularity as a tourism destination. Most have some sort of spa on the property.  To meet growing demand in wellness travel, a new SHA wellness resort will be opening near Cancun in 2023.