For retirees, Mexico in top 5 for quality health care

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Star Medica hospital in Mérida. Photo: Courtesy

A magazine that studies the world for U.S. retiree and expat adventures found that Mexico is one of the five best countries for health care.

International Living compared 24 countries they recommend for an overseas retirement.

The survey examined prices for a range of treatments, medications and insurance, as well as how easy it is for expats to access care.

The top five nations offered health care as low as 50 percent of the cost in the U.S., said Jennifer Stevens, International Living’s Executive Editor.

Mexico stood out because every medium to large city has at least one first-rate hospital, the study found, and most doctors speak English, the magazine reported.

Most doctors and dentists in Mexico received at least part of their training in the U.S., so they’re familiar with the care expats expect and they speak English, according to the magazine, which has an editor with first-hand experience.

“In Mexico, I have access to two affordable health care systems: public and private. In Mexico’s private healthcare system, costs—pretty much across the board—run 25 percent to 50 percent of U.S. costs for comparable services. And as a legal resident in Mexico, I also have access to Mexico’s public healthcare system, which runs most people around US$300 to $400 or so a year—or less,” said International Living’s Mexico Editor, Glynna Prentice.

The availability of most common name-brand prescription drugs — at 25 to 50 percent less than what they cost north of the border — was also cited, as well as the fact that many doctors still make house calls. That hasn’t been common in the U.S. for 50 years.

Its also not unusual for a doctor to phone a patient to follow up.

Many pharmacy chains have an adjacent doctor’s office for free advice. Most medications do not require a prescription in Mexico, the study notes.

The magazine also listed Costa Rica, Malaysia, Colombia and Panama on their list of retirement destinations with the best health-care options.

An estimated 1 million Americans live in Mexico.

Source: Fox Business News, International Living

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