Dental Tourism is Again Rising in Mexican Border Towns amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Medical tourism has been severely hit by travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, people from America and Canada have again started to visit the Mexican border towns for dental care. In fact, the demand for dental care is very high in Mexican border towns, which might be because people waited for a long period and now they don’t want any further delay. The highest demand is for procedures like dental implants, full mouth reconstruction or other extensive dental works. This is obvious that people want to travel only for emergency dental treatment, not for elective ones like teeth whitening.
The border is Open for Americans and Canadians Seeking Medical Care
The border was officially never closed for the people of the US for medical care. Even Canadians are also permitted to travel abroad for healthcare services but they must spend two-weeks of self-quarantine once they return home. But dental care sector in Mexico was still affected due to confusion among people regarding travel restrictions and re-entry. Moreover, there is a fear of contacting coronavirus, which kept people away from traveling across the border for dental treatments. But, things have started to become positive in terms of business as people have again started booking dental treatments with the clinics that are convincing patients about safety apart from top-rated dental treatments with big cost savings.
Cost Remains the Major Attraction for People looking for Dental Care in Mexico
Mexican towns near the US border like Nuevo Progreso and Tijuana has always been very popular due to huge cost savings. In fact, dental care can be 40-50% or even up to 70% less approximately in these border towns compared to the high health care cost in the US. With the start of the winter season, these dental clinics in the Mexican border towns have once again started to become busy, as thousands of people from America and Canada drive to Mexico for dental work.
Mexican Border Towns target International Patients to Boost Economy
Small Mexican towns like Los Algodones, which is bordered by Arizona to the East and California to the North, thrive on dental tourism. In fact, their local economy is driven by dentistry, as it is home to hundreds of dental clinics and medical facilities that mainly target patients across the border more than the local customers. Moreover, there are strategically placed hotels, restaurants, shops and other facilities to make the dental travel experience smooth for international patients.
What Dental Service Providers should do?
In the last few months, dental hospitals and clinics along the border have treated thousands of patients, mostly at drive-to destinations like Los Algodones, Mexicali, Tijuana, Nuevo Progreso, Matamoros and Nogales. This shows the Americans and Canadians willing to drive across the border despite the threat of a pandemic. With such demand of dental care in Mexico, the providers must adopt the best measures to drive more international patients, especially from America and Canada. They must practice high standards of operations to build trust among the people who are willing to book treatments. Some of the guidelines that the clinics can implement for a new standard of care could be:
- Screening temperature of patient and staff on arrival at the clinic
- Sanitizing stations at entry and exit points of the clinic
- Making wearing face masks mandatory for dental and medical staff
- Requiring staff to do self-quarantine or stay at home for 14 days if they exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms
- Requiring patients to show proofs that they have not exhibited flu-like symptoms nor have traveled to/from specific countries
Focus on Transparency, Education and Innovative Marketing
The most important thing that patients expect from healthcare providers is transparency in terms of the price of the treatment, expertise of the doctor and credentials of the clinic. So, the dental providers should engage in innovative ways to boost their brand value for offer transparency into important factors such as dentist’s experience, dental surgeon’s certificates, before and after pictures of patients, peer reviews, videos of the clinic, procedures, testimonials, etc. They must incorporate various strategies to educate customers about their practice and offer competitive solutions. They should also focus on communicating directly with the patients and for that incorporating innovative digital healthcare solutions like emails, WhatsApp and video calls can be useful.
In a challenging time when every sector is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, the rising demand for dental care in Mexico is a major sign of positivity. The providers must make their best effort to drive more customers, especially across the border where people are willing to travel for dental care.
As a leading self pay medical tourism marketplace, PlacidWay is helping thousands of healthcare providers with ground-breaking solutions. Our wide range of advanced solutions like all-inclusive packages, online consultation/second opinion, detailed center profiles, doctor profiles, videos, infographics, testimonials, case studies, etc. can help Mexican dental providers to reach and tap the huge potential of the self-pay dental market in the US and Canada and also globally.
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