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Heading to Mexico for healthcare

May 26, 2009 |  3:48 pm

That's what about 1 million adult residents of California do each year, say UCLA researchers. Some are seeking medical services, some are seeking dental help. Others just want prescriptions.

About half of those who travel to Mexico for such services are Mexican immigrants. Those who have been in the United States for at least 15 years are more likely to head south for health-related reasons than are people who have been here fewer than 15 years.

Here's the news release on the report, "Heading South: Why Mexican Immigrants in California Seek Health Services in Mexico." It was published today in the journal Medical Care. Here's the abstract.

It concludes: "Mexican immigrants are the most likely to seek medical, dental, and prescription services in Mexico. A large number, but small percentages, of US-born nonLatino whites purchase prescription drugs there. Although proximity facilitates use, access and acceptability barriers in the US medical care system encourage immigrants to seek care in Mexico who would be helped by expanded binational health insurance."

-- Tami Dennis