Mexican Health Tourism for Cancer Therapies
America’s overburdened healthcare sector is increasingly causing worry to millions of its uninsured or underinsured citizens. Middle class Americans are on a quest to find affordable healthcare choices. Conventional cancer therapy, including chemotherapy and radiation treatments, can cost thousands of dollars in the United States. Alternative therapies, in most parts of the West, are not far behind in terms of pricing (one German clinic charges an upfront payment of $250,000). Against this backdrop, a number of clinics in Mexico have begun to offer affordable healthcare that includes alternative medicinal practices with short term care facilities.
The Appeal of Medical Packages in Mexico
Mexico has, in recent years, been able to significantly increase its share of the global health tourism market, particularly in the fields of dental tourism and alternative medicine with short term care facilities. Americans have long been crossing the border to make use of the country’s affordable healthcare system. The system of alternative medicine that includes short term care facilities, as practiced in Mexico, has been popular since the 1960s. The attacks of September 11 and the travel phobia that followed, managed to drastically cut down the number of people flocking to these short term care facilities. But with rising prices back home, this trend is beginning to reverse.
Alternative Health Tourism in Mexico: Medicine or Quackery?
The Bio Medical Center is the only clinic offering the controversial Hoxsey therapy for cancer treatment, one of the many available alternative medical packages in Mexico. American doctors have been quick to dismiss the treatment as one of the worst “quacks” of our time. Dr. Stephen Barret, who monitors fraudulent medicinal practices through his website quackwatch.org, is scathing in his criticism of the Bio Medical Center, or the Hoxsey Center as it’s popularly known. “Where is the data on a clinic that’s been operating forty years?” he asks. “And why are they in Mexico in the first place? The answer is because most of them would not last long in the United States because what they are doing in not legal here.”
Affordable Healthcare Options for Alternative Therapy: The Believers
Fifty-seven year old Norberto Fanuele has been suffering from prostate cancer for a while now. Recently, he decided to forego surgery and chemotherapy in favor of the tri-monthly Hoxsey Therapy offered by the Bio Medical Center. An initial check up followed by 16 ounce refills of the Hoxsey elixir, plus additional costs, have cost him $4300. But Fanuele remains firmly optimistic and with good reason. He has recently been informed by staff that his cancer is in remission. Ebullient over this news, which just about every patient at the clinic receives at some point or the other, Fanuele promises to return. “I will definitely be back in three months,” he says. “I have high hopes for this clinic.”