Baja California is emerging as a world leader in medical tourism as Americans increasingly seek less expensive health care across the border in Mexico.
Heidy Salum, director of binational affairs for the Baja California government, said medical tourism is creating “a booming sector on both sides of the border” with 11 percent of Baja visitors seeking care.
“Baja California is definitely the leader in medical tourism. We’re positioned second in the top two for medial tourism internationally speaking,” she said.
Salum and other medical and political leaders from Baja California spoke at a forum organized by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Tijuana’s advantage is both geographical and qualitative, said Dr. Ricardo Vega, president of the Medical and Health Services Cluster of Baja California.
“Tijuana is privileged to be on the border of the richest state in the United States,” he said, and can provide services at “much lower cost than the United States can without losing the quality.”
Developer Grupo Abadi is building the NewCity Medical Plaza to offer Americans a one-stop shop for medical service. The development will be anchored by the tallest building in Tijuana.
Zury Duek, a partner with Grupo Abadi, said putting medical services in one location near the border will make it easier to attract American patients who aren’t sure about traveling to Tijuana.
“They’re afraid to come to Tijuana to treat themselves because they don’t know where to go,” said Duek.
One area in which Tijuana specializes is ophthalmology because doctors there have access to the latest technology from companies in Southern California before it’s approved for use in the United States.
“Tijuana is a hidden gem,” said Daniel Chayet, CEO of the CODET Vision Institute. “We’re on an upward trajectory.”
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