MedicalTourismMexico might soon be in first place as the leading world destination for medical tourism.

In 2012, the latest year for which statistics are available, Mexico welcomed a million visitors who came for medical treatment. Only Thailand received more: 1.2 million.

Mexico is in an ideal position to overtake Thailand, primarily because of its location next to the world’s biggest source of medical tourists, the United States, says Sergio Rodríguez of private health care firm Médica Sur. The U.S. represents 40% of the world medical tourism market, he says.

“The quality conditions of private health services in Mexico are very competitive and you can find in many cases they are at the same level as the best health institutions in the world.”

At present there are 10 hospitals in Mexico that enjoy accreditation through a program offered by the International Joint Commission. Thailand has 32.

But this country is on track, according to a report in Diario, as a domestic certification program lists 90 private hospitals having medical tourism accreditation, with another 119 in the process of obtaining it.

The most commonly sought after treatments in medical tourism in Mexico are esthetic, dental, oncology, fertility and overweight.

A challenge to the growth of this type of tourism include the shortage of both translation services and service providers who are able to speak English, an advantage that can be found in Thailand and Malaysia, according to Patients Beyond Borders, a consumer information service in the field of medical and health travel.

This article is brought to you by the Sonoran Resorts Sales Team,, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales and Marketing.