Mexico continues to be a destination of choice for millions of travelers from all corners of the globe and is currently ranked 10th in international visitor arrivals. Cancun, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta are the most commonly visited destinations in Mexico by US and Canadian travelers for leisure and medical purposes.
Many American travelers perk up to the thought of traveling to Mexico whether for a dental implant treatment or hair transplant procedure; but only a few get properly prepared for a trip to south of border.
Here is a check list of items to bring, vaccination to take and medication you need before you set off for your medical trip to Mexico.
How to be Prepared for a Medical Trip to Mexico
Before planning your trip to Mexico, you must visit your local doctor or health care provider to determine your immunization and medical history. The best time to visit your doctor is, at least, 4-5 weeks prior to your travel date to allow sufficient time for vaccines to take effect.
Even if you are tight on time, you must visit your physician for information on how to protect yourself against illness and injury while traveling.
If you are intending to travel to other countries in the Americas besides Mexico, make sure to let your medical provider know so you can receive the adequate and appropriate vaccinations and information for all of your destinations.
Try to find doctors specializing in travel medicine. They are medical professionals who are in the know of rampant illnesses overseas and will offer valuable information on diseases in different parts of the world.
Ensure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date. Routine vaccines such as influenza, chickenpox, polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT), poliovirus vaccine are given at all stages of life.
Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG) is recommended for all unvaccinated travelers in place with an intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus where exposure to virus might occur through food or water.
Hepatitis B is particularly advised for travelers who might be exposed to a medical treatment, blood, body fluids or have sexual contact with the local population
Typhoid: if you are going to stay with friends or relatives in smaller cities, villages or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water—typhoid vaccination is highly recommended.
Rabies vaccination is only advised for adventurous travelers or visitors with significant occupational risks, such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals and researchers. Travelers involved in any activities that might bring them in direct contact with bats, stray dogs and cats, wildlife and other mammals.
Malaria: If you will be visiting an area of Mexico with malaria, you will need to inform your doctor and discuss the best ways to avoid falling sick with malaria.
Areas of Mexico with malaria: Chiapas and in rural areas in the states of Nayarit, Oaxaca, and Sinaloa; also present in an area between 24°N and 28°N latitude and 106°W and 110°W longitude, which lies in parts of Chihuahua, Durango, and Sonora. Rare cases in Quintana Roo and Tabasco.
Ways to prevent malaria include the following:
Taking a prescription anti-malarial drug
Using insect repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites
Sleeping in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms or using bed nets
For areas in Mexico where an antimalarial is recommended, primaquine is a good option for an antimalarial drug (only after G6PD testing). Atovaquone-proguanil, chloroquine, doxycycline, or mefloquine can also be used instead.
What Items to Bring When Traveling to Mexico for Medical Tourism
If you are taking daily medication, make sure you bring the prescription and you have enough stock to last during the trip. Keep them in their original prescription bottles and always in your carry-on luggage. Check the security guidelines and airport screening policy to find out the limit on liquids allowed in carry-on luggage.
Antimalarial drugs, if traveling to a malaria-risk area in Mexico and prescribed by your doctor.
Medicine for diarrhea, usually over-the-counter.
Note: some drugs available by prescription in the US are illegally sold in other countries. Visit the Mexican embassy/consulate to find out whether the medication you are taking is available and legal in Mexico.
If your medication is not allowed in Mexico, ask your doctor or medical provider to write a letter on office stationery station the medication has been prescribed for you.
Doctors in Mexico:
Mexico confers a world of affordable health care options to US and Canadian patients. A distinguished destination for a variety of medical treatments including cosmetic dentistry, hair transplant, heart surgery, fertility care, plastic surgery, weight loss, orthopedic surgery and laser eye surgery—Mexico reigns supreme for patients seeking low-cost and high quality health care.
Plastic surgery Mexico is one of the highly ranked practices in North and Central America. Mexico plastic surgery clinics, such as revert, are known for excellent surgical results achieved by highly trained and professional aesthetic surgeons.
Dental care in Mexico is the second most popular treatment sought-after by Americans due to the inexplicably high prices of cosmetic dental treatments in the US.
Mexico fertility clinics bring hope to hundreds of couples struggling with infertility woes including expensive cost and unyielding laws in the US—which add up to the complex and confusing journey of conception.
IVF in Mexico is sustained by world-class fertility practices and leading human reproductive professionals. Irega IVF clinic in Cancun attracts a large number of couples seeking fully integrated, comprehensive fertility and genetics services. IVF Cancun centers comprise of dedicated, experienced and highly-trained fertility experts who helped build thousands of families.
Hair transplant Mexico treatments are growing more in popularity among males and female experiencing hair loss and searching for safe, natural and permanent hair restoration.
How to Stay Healthy when Traveling to Mexico
Be Careful about Food and Water: The most common diseases and illnesses such as vomiting and diarrhea are derived from food and water. Make sure to avoid un-pasteurized dairy products. Before eating, wash your hands often with soap and water- or alcohol based hand gel if water is not available.
Visas and Travel Regulations
Register with nearest US embassy or consulate thought the State Department’s travel registration website. Registration at the embassy will make your whereabouts known in case of emergency.
American Consulate of Cancun : Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH Torre La Europea, Despacho 301 Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico C.P. 77500; telephone (011)(52)(998) 883-0272.
Visa, Entry and Exit Requirements: U.S. citizens do not require a visa or a tourist card for stays of 72 days in Mexico.
American Consulate of Guadalajara
Guadalajara (Nayarit, Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, and Colima): Progreso 175, Col. Americana; telephone (011) (52) (333) 268-2100.
American Consulate of Cozumel: Plaza Villa Mar en El Centro, Plaza Principal, (Parque Juárez between Melgar and 5th Ave.) 2nd floor, Locales #8 and 9; telephone (011)(52)(987) 872-4574.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention