March 8. The four Americans who were shot at and abducted in Mexico were reportedly visiting for medical tourism — making them part of a booming industry that is vital to Mexico’s economy.
Nearly 780,000 people were projected to leave the U.S. for health care in 2022, according to Healthcare.com, citing data from the medical travel website Medical Departures.
That outburst of activity got a big boost in late 2021, when the U.S. relaxed key border restrictions with Mexico.
While an element of risk is inherent in many procedures no matter where they’re performed, medical tourism can heighten complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Potential problems range from the dangers of flying in a pressurized plane cabin too soon after a surgery to the complications of getting follow-up care for a procedure done in another country.