The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Need Health Care? Go to Mexico

By Robert Higgs

Porfirio Díaz, the Mexican strongman of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, famously described his country’s situation by exclaiming, “¡Pobre México! ¡Tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos!” (Poor Mexico! So far from God and so close to the United States!) I cannot say whether Mexico is now any closer to God, but its proximity to the United States is definitely proving to be a godsend for many Americans in need of medical and dental care.

Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry, estimated to bring in gross revenues now well in excess of $60 billion per year, and Mexico is a convenient destination for many Americans in need of pharmaceutical drugs, dental work, and surgical procedures. Prices may be as much as two-thirds below those in the United States for comparable goods and services. The Los Angeles Times reports, for example, that at Los Algodones, a Mexican town of about 10,000 population on the border with California, “dental offices outnumber restaurants 49 to nine. Add in the 26 pharmacies, 20 optical shops and 14 physicians offices, and you’ve got something of a mecca of medicine.” Similar towns may be found here and there along the entire Mexican border, especially across from Texas.

U.S. hospital firms are now investing in the construction of new care facilities in Mexico, to serve Mexicans, to be sure, but also with an eye toward the norteamericanos who are expected to seek their services.

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  • At 12:10 PM, November 30, 2008 , Anonymous Mike Gogulski said...

    Interesting. There's a town on the Hungarian-Austrian border, near Lake Neusiedl, which is much the same. A hundred signs directing one to dental clinics, restaurants scarce indeed.


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