The quality and availability of health care in Mexico has increased immensely in the past ten years or so. Mortality rates have dropped substantially as a result. Mexico achieved universal health care in 2012, becoming the second North American country to do so.
Many visitors are surprised at the very high quality of medical care available in Mexico. It is even a popular regional destination for medical tourism due to its high quality modern facilities and reasonable prices! Mexico boasts world class hospitals, clinics and doctors, cutting edge technology, and top-notch research facilities.
Many Mexican doctors do post-graduate study in North America or Europe, and are to date on cutting edge medicine. These doctors are likely to speak English, as well.
Tip: As you prepare for your academic adventure in Mexico, don’t forget to find contact information for doctors and hospitals near your host university. You probably won’t need to use this information, but if you are ill or injured, you will want to have the names and addresses of doctors and hospitals at your fingertips.
There are both private and public sources of medical care in Mexico. The highest level is private doctors and private hospitals. The facilities are nice, modern, and can even be luxurious. Two-thirds of the over 4,000 hospitals in Mexico are private. Many visitors, and even Mexicans who have access to public health care, prefer the quality of private medical care and pay to access private doctors, clinics and hospitals.
You will have an easier time finding staff who speak English or other languages in private facilities, since they are accustomed to catering to tourists and the international set. But because they are private, if you need a doctor or to visit a hospital, you will be responsible for paying them. This is where international student insurance can help you.
The study abroad program at your university can help you with find private doctors, clinics and hospitals near your university in Mexico. You can also check with your consulate for good recommendations in case you need to visit a doctor or have an unexpected need to visit a hospital. They maintain lists of specialists and facilities.
Other, public Mexican health care systems – ISSSTE, IMSS, and the military hospitals – are available for public and private employees, and military personnel here in Mexico. They are clearly marked. You will become accustomed to seeing the ISSSTE and IMS symbols on hospitals and clinics in the city where you study. Private hospitals and clinics do not bear the ISSSTE and IMSS signs and logos.
The public health care systems in Mexico are not designed for visitors. In a pinch you may be able to convince a public facility to see you, but don’t count on this! Since your home university or your host university probably will have required you to purchase international student insurance prior to your arrival, you should seek private care if at all possible.