By: Lisa Coleman
According to recent statistics, over 59 million Americans do not have health insurance. That said, there is obviously a tremendous need for affordable alternatives for those requiring either minor or major surgery. Despite Mexico’s ongoing struggles, there are a few areas where the country is feeling a positive impact. Foreign investments are booming and now “Medical Tourism” is taking hold and bringing in a new type of visitor and potentially millions of dollars to the economy. With the ease and affordability of traveling south of the border, along with state-of-the-art facilities, current technology, US trained (English speaking) doctors and surgeons, and virtually no wait times, Mexico is quickly becoming a leader in this fast-growing industry.
A forecast by Deloitte Consulting projected that medical tourism originating in the US could jump by a factor of ten over the next decade. The growth in medical tourism has the potential to cost US health care providers billions of dollars in lost revenue and bring those huge dollars into a host of other countries including Mexico.
Leading the way is a revolutionary company called MedToGo International. I first met the founders ten years ago in Acapulco. Dr. Robert H. Page, Dr. Curtis Page and Robert Page Jr. are an impressive family of over achievers who were, at the time, publishing a book called Mexico: Health and Safety Travel Guide
They spent two years in 50 Mexican cities researching doctors and hospitals suitable for tourists. The end result: the ultimate guide for any tourist (or ex-pat) looking for an English-speaking doctor with excellent credentials (or an accredited hospital) almost anywhere in the country. This book on its own is an extraordinary product.
Over the years, the connections they made and the contacts they had began to take another turn. And, like most successful entrepreneurs, the Page family simply connected the dots. Today they are the only medical tourism company owned and operated by U.S. physicians. They have elevated MedToGo International© (MTGI) into the most trusted and credible healthcare referral service in North America, and offer patients surgical savings of up to 80% of what they would pay in the states. (A knee replacement for a registered MTGI© patient, including six days of physical therapy, costs about one-fourth of what it would be in the United States.)
They have conducted personal interviews and certification background checks on more than 700 physicians and have inspected over 80 private hospitals abroad. Only the top 10%, or those meeting the strictest health standards, parallel to that found in the U.S. are selected. As a result, MTGI© clients can feel assured that they will be working with the finest physicians and institutions outside the United States. In Mexico, their surgical partners are located in Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Leon, Hermosillo, Merida, and Tijuana.
The major areas of elective and specialized surgical offerings include:
* Orthopedic Surgery: Total knee or hip replacement; ACL, tendon or meniscal repair; spinal surgery; shoulder surgery
* Kidney Transplant: Live kidney donor already identified and pre-qualified
* Cardiovascular Surgery
* Weight Loss/Obesity Surgery: Lap Band, Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, Metabolic Gastric Bypass
* General Surgery: Hernia Repair, Gallbladder, Nissen Fundoplication
* Gynecological Surgery: Laparoscopic or Vaginal Hysterectomy
* Dental Surgery: Full mouth Restoration
* Plastic Surgery: Breast Reduction, Liposuction, Post-bariatric Plastic Surgery
Their website (www.medtogo.com) is filled with all the information you need to explore the possibilities. I asked if I could go through the process as if I was a patient, and they sent me the entire step-by-step. I am a stickler for detail, and I can tell you honestly, they don’t miss a thing. From the moment you submit your information for a quote, there is no stone unturned. From an “education sequence” of emails, to complete travel arrangements and assignment of your own English -speaking “Medical Liaison” who will be with you every step of the way in Mexico, they do this right. This is as professional and thorough as it gets.
Per their website:
“Once a patient is registered with MTGI© for a surgery, rigorous medical procedures are followed. Beginning in the patient’s hometown, pre-and post-surgery protocols are established with the patient’s physician/specialist to ensure the patient’s surgical readiness and long-term success. Depending on the type of surgery performed, accommodations are made regarding length of stay and follow-up medical care required back home, once the patient is released.
MTGI© also provides a team of U.S. physicians and coordinators who oversee a patient’s care and serve as their advocate while they are abroad. Safety and peace of mind are a top priority. MTGI© is the patient’s medical and travel referral source before they leave, while they are abroad and once they have returned home. Each patient is provided an English-speaking Medical Liaison to attend to them throughout their stay abroad. The designated Medical Liaison is available to facilitate communication, coordinate day-to-day schedule, and provide information.”
Medical tourism is quickly becoming a safe, affordable option for thousands of patients, and Mexico is stepping onto the world stage as a contender. With MedToGo leading the charge, Mexico might just come out the winner.
Below are the bios of the owners:
Robert H. Page M.D.
Dr. Robert Page is an Arizona native who was raised in Douglas, near the Mexican border. He earned his medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in 1971. While studying in Guadalajara, Dr. Page co-founded the Tlaquepaque Free Medical Clinic. He completed his Family Practice residency at the University of Arizona in 1978. He served as Chief of Staff at Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital from 1991 to 1993 and was an Arizona delegate to the American Medical Association from 1993 to 2001. He is a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM), and is owner of a bilingual medical practice in Tempe, AZ, with a staff of five physicians and 22 assistants.
Curtis P. Page M.D.
Dr. Curtis Page graduated from Harvard Medical School in Boston Massachusetts from 1996. He later completed 2 years of a General Surgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta from 1996-1998 and later a Family Practice residency in Brooklyn, NY at the Lutheran Medical Center from 1998-2000. While in medical school, he did volunteer work in the Dominican Republic and with elderly Spanish-speaking patients at Alianza Espana in Boston. Dr. Page is also a member of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) and a private family practitioner in Tempe, Arizona. Dr. Page has completed many years of scientific research and is published in several leading scientific journals.
Robert R. Page
Robert earned his BA in Developmental Economics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 1996. He has conducted economic research in Argentina, Mexico and the US and completed further studies in Brazil and Germany. Fluent in Spanish and English, he also speaks German and Portuguese. Robert has been the project’s field researcher, spending more than three years pre-screening physicians and medical facilities throughout Mexico. Robert currently divides his time between the United States and Mexico, where he works with Mexican physicians and hospital administration on patient-care protocol.
Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the México Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own. Mexico Today is a joint public and private sector initiative designed to help promote Mexico as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination