Mexicali is doing more to promote medical tourism by making it easier for medical tourists to reenter the U.S.
Starting April 30, medical tourists from the U.S. with the right documents will be able to avoid the approximate 1 ½ hour wait to cross back into the U.S.
The new lane is modeled on an established tourism lane at the San Ysidro Port of Entry linking Tijuana and San Diego.
However, because of some reported abuse when that a similar lane opened at the Tijuana-San Ysidro border crossing, Mexicali is requiring doctors to sign a contract with the tourism board to ensure they only give passes to foreign patients who are crossing the border. Each pass will cost the doctors 50 pesos, or about $4.
With the cooperation of the U.S. Border Patrol, Mexicali has also set up a new lane on the Mexican side of the border for medical tourists. Using the medical tourist lane to reenter the U.S. will cut the waiting time down to around ten minutes.
This new lane is one part of the city’s plan to boost medical tourism by 50%.
The way the system works is that patients coming from the U.S. will be able to get a pass from Mexican doctors who are participating in the program. With the pass and the doctor’s receipt, a passport, and foreign license plates, there will be access to the medical tourist lane.
The reduction in border crossing time is only for those returning from Mexicali. There may still be delays from U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
Now Americans can take advantage of the great medical services available in Mexicali.
Mexicali is where my back condition was correctly diagnosed as being due to a Tarlov cyst—in the U.S., they never discovered the cyst. In Mexicali, the MRI technician spotted it immediately. When I saw the MRI, myself, it was glaringly easy to see the Tarlov cyst—a large white spot on the MRI.
The operation to drain the cysts (I had two of them) was done in Mexicali. It cost a fraction of what it would have cost in the U.S. More importantly, the results of my operation were successful, where, in the U.S., the operation frequently fails.
This is due, in part, to the fact that my surgeon told me to spend a month in bed to heal properly. In the U.S. the post-operative technique for the Tarlov cyst operation is to dope the patient up on addictive narcotic drugs. The patient then is happy, feels that everything is okay and moves around as normal—usually leading to scar tissue and a second operation and more money for the surgeon.
Even if you are insured in the U.S., paying a Mexicali doctor is less than what your co-pay would be back in the good old USA—and prescription drugs are much cheaper in Mexicali pharmacies. Again, what is really important, believe it or not, the doctors in Mexicali are better than what I could find in the U.S.