Local News & Events

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Good Old-Fashioned Personalized Health Care in Puerto Vallarta

Kathleen Peddicord - Live and Invest Overseas
go to original
June 11, 2012

Health care in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is both state-of-the-art and highly personalized. It's also very affordable, making this region an increasingly attractive medical tourism destination for everything from cosmetic surgery to diagnostics.

"It's not like the old days, when, if you had an accident, you might be taken to a little hut on the beach under a palapa where they'd give you a shot of tequila and then stitch you up," joked Pamela Thompson, owner of HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta.

"Our facilities today are state-of-the-art," she continued for attendees at our Live and Invest in Puerto Vallarta Conference.

The Banderas Bay area of Puerto Vallarta today boasts 6 private hospitals, 500 registered physicians, and 50 registered dentists. Plus many more qualified, highly trained, but unregistered practitioners.

All this 21st-century health care infrastructure is complemented by a strong tradition of natural healing. Curanderos, as they are called, are Mexico's original healers and still outnumber allopathic physicians.

The region's growing medical tourism industry is tapping into these extensive resources, attracting people looking for dental care, plastic surgery, weight loss surgery, and diagnostics, in addition to things like hernia repair, cataract surgery, knee and hip replacements...

"It used to be that people came for cosmetic surgery," Pamela explained to the group. "Now so many North Americans are realizing that they can come and have their gall bladder or hip surgery taken care of here, as well. Even factoring in the cost of the airfare, the hotel, and other travel expenses, these procedures cost much less here than you'd pay in the United States."

"Come for the procedure, stay for the vacation," I tell my patients.

"Increasingly, too, people are coming down from the States and Canada for diagnostic procedures. A patient from Canada came here to Puerto Vallarta recently, for example, to get an MRI because he'd been told he'd have to wait months to have it done back home. He wanted to know if a week would be long enough. I told him that a day would be long enough."

"I can see a patient in the office and have the results of the diagnostic tests I've run a few hours later," added Dr. Peter Gordon, a family physician in Puerto Vallarta for 14 years.

"You don't need a doctor's order here to have a diagnostic test performed," Pamela continued. "We have a lot of people who come down and think, after they're already here, 'You know, I've been needing an MRI on my shoulder. I wonder if I could make an appointment and get the test done.' The answer is yes, you can. You don't need a doctor's referral, and you don't need to make an appointment far in advance."

"Hospital care is typically in a private room and very individual," explained Dr. Gordon. "And many of the private hospitals are small, offering 14, 18, or 25 beds. Each room has a telephone and WiFi."

"The other thing hospital rooms typically have," Pamela added, "is a couch or a fold-out chair. This can be used by the patient, of course, but it's really there so that the patient's family can spend the night. The Mexican culture is very family-oriented. They're used to everybody showing up when someone goes in the hospital, and everybody is welcome."

This emphasis on family and community spills over into the patient-doctor relationship.

"The experience of seeing a doctor or spending time in the hospital here is nothing like it is in the busy, busy, busy U.S. and Canada," Pamela explained.

"I hear it every day from patients," she said. "'I can't believe our doctor didn't leave,' they'll tell me. 'He sat down with me, listened, for a half-hour or longer.' It's just the way things are in Mexico. Doctors take the time to really be with their patients.

"A clinic or hospital isn't 100 rooms that a doctor has to go back and forth among. It's much more personal. A doctor will sit by the side of a patient's bed for an hour at a time."

Pamela Thompson of HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta and Dr. Peter Gordon with Clayton Hills Medical Services spoke to the group at our Live and Invest in Puerto Vallarta Conference last week. We recorded both their presentations in full (along with every one of the other 24 presentations over the three days of the event).

Right now, these recordings are being edited and bundled with the related PowerPoints and other materials to create our all-new, first-ever Live and Invest in Puerto Vallarta Home Conference Kit. While the editing work continues, you can purchase this one-of-a-kind collection of resources for a pre-publication discount that saves you a full 50%. Details are here.

  Learn more about Hospitals & Clinics Around Banderas Bay

We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

Meet the Charities

Community Services


Animals & Wildlife

Health Care

Youth & Family


Culture & Recreation

Special Interests

How You Can Help

Use Your Powers for Good

Add Your Favorite Charity

Save a Life - Give Blood

Partners for Change

Meet the Partners

Become a Partner for Change


About PVAngels

Add Your Charity

Add Your News & Events

Locate Yourself on Our Maps

Join PVAngels Team

About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Local News

Local Event Calendar

Puerto Vallarta Videos

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Historic Puerto Vallarta

Local Area Maps

Important Phone Numbers

Craig's List in Puerto Vallarta

   Stay Connected

    Find PVAngels on Facebook Follow PVAngels on Twitter Sign up PVAngels Newsletter RSS Feeds on PVAngels

PVAngels.com is a unique blend of community awareness through the posting of local news and events, formal introductions to the charities and their needs, online fundraising, social networking and giving back. Ready to change the world? Join us.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

2018 • m3 • this site is part of a charitable conspiracy