The Rise and Significance of Medical Tourism


One question we are often asked by prospective patients is, “Why are you located in Mexico?” There are multiple reasons for this, often as many as there are reasons for why someone might be asking. Perhaps they are concerned about their ability to travel, especially in regards to their immune system's ability to fight off illness while on the go; maybe they don’t want to leave their families. Regardless, we want to address how traveling for medical care is not new: this trend has been on the rise for years, and the reasons behind this are extremely compelling.   

Why travel abroad for medical treatment?

First, it is important to note that medical tourism, also known as destination medicine, “can best be defined as cross-border travel for the primary purpose of securing treatment. The term may suggest carefree holidaymakers, but … many medical tourists are engaged in a uniquely modern form of rebellion, asserting an individual’s independence from the persistence of political geography.”[1]

Prospective patients, particularly women, are choosing to take control of your medical care by proactively seeking the proper care they deserve and demand – even if certain procedures are not performed in the United States. 

The reasons for why people choose to engage in medical tourism are bountiful, and often slightly different per individual based on personal preference. Some find the treatment to be cheaper, while others “face a long wait at home, or the treatment they want is not available in their own country.”[2] Each of our patients have different reasons for coming to CMN (located in Mexico) for their cancer treatment. 

Because medical tourism is still growing, prospective patients may be the first in their inner circle to leave their country for treatment. This is normal, and Rajesh Rao, CEO of IndUSHealth found that the reasoning behind it is that “We’re so used to the adage that you get what you pay for, it takes a little thinking outside of the box… by just going outside, you end up getting a lot better quality and a lot better care for a lower cost. Until you actually see it, it’s hard to believe.” [3]

Statistics and Rankings

Patients Beyond Borders conducted a study to explore medical tourism; they recognize that although “medical tourism still in its early stages, [and] gaining reliable data is challenging,” their research and editorial team worked diligently to “compile the most accurate, current information on international medical travel, global healthcare, and the international patient experience.”[4] They found that Mexico was among the top destinations; “the making of a world-class healthcare destination is complex,” and they used the following criteria to compose their list of top destinations:

  • Government and private sector investment in healthcare infrastructure

  • Demonstrable commitment to international accreditation, quality assurance, and transparency of outcomes

  • International patient flow

  • Potential for cost savings on medical procedures

  • Political transparency and social stability

  • Excellent tourism infrastructure

  • Sustained reputation for clinical excellence

  • History of healthcare innovation and achievement

  • Successful adoption of best practices and state-of-the-art medical technology

  • Availability of internationally-trained, experienced medical staff

Further, they found that procedures and treatment in Mexico were relatively less than those offered in the United States, averaging “40-65%”cheaper overall. 

A separate, non-related survey conducted by Medical Tourismfound that “almost 85% of U.S. patients found they received more personalized medical care than in the U.S;” further, “almost 86% of U.S. patients said they would travel again overseas for medical care.”[5]

We hope that these statistics help give quantitative insight into the field of medical tourism; however, the quality of your treatment should always be the primary factor in deciding to engage in medical tourism.

Traveling to CMN: How we factor into medical tourism 

CMN Hospital is proud of how we are able to serve others, and part of our exceptional and compassionate care is due to the fact that we are located in San Luis, Sonora, Mexico. Mexico is frequently mentioned during the conversation of medical tourism, partially because our country “has both a universal health-care system and private health care. The public system, known as IMSS (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social), has clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies all over the country. Expats with a valid residence visa can sign up for it—and many do,” meaning that we are able to provide care for those located internationally – and we frequently do.

Further, “Mexican hospitals are modern, well-equipped…and much less expensive than their U.S. counterparts,” and CMN is no different; we constantly strives to have state-of-the-art equipment, programs, and treatment plans that will best serve the needs and desires of our patients.

Want to come to CMN? Here’s how: 

CMN Hospital is located in Mexico, 16 blocks from the border. We wrote this blog to help all readers, especially those that are considering coming to our hospital for treatment, explore the topic of medical tourism. CMN Hospital is all about compassionate care that extends far beyond your hospital stay; we want you to feel at ease traveling to and from our hospital, and to know that your health is our ultimate priority. To contact us about coming to CMN, you can email us at or contact us here.

[1]Issenberg, Sasha. “The Astonishing New World of Medical Tourism.” Huffington Post.2016.

[2]Sheahan, Maria and Kröner, Andreas. “Medical Tourism Industry Holds Major Growth Potential.” Huffington Post. 2013.

[3]Akitunde, Anthonia. “Medical Tourism: Why More Boomers Are Going Abroad For Treatment.” Huffington Post.2012.

[4]“Medical Tourism Statistics & Facts.” Patients Beyond Borders.

[5]“Facts & Statistics.” Medical Tourism.

CMN Hospital