Today this German Arzate complaint post will be all about the crazy prices offered on the borders for dental services. Well, I guess we could say the border towns are full of shady people and thanks to this they are often considered pretty unsure locations. On the Mexican side you have people that originally came to try to get into the US and could not or people who did cross and then came back for whatever reasons. Then there are those who are there seeing how to take advantage of those who come there.
Many years ago the dental market began to grow on the borders as did many other things in places like Ciudad Juarez/El Paso, Tijuana/San Isidro, Matamoros/Brownsville and many more. For some strange reason we often relate borders with cheaper prices and better deals. Now if you are a Mexican and you have ever spent time on the border you see the great contrast between Mexico and the USA. These are some of the poorest, ugliest places in Mexico which is still a third world country and there we border with the most powerful economy in the world. So on this side of the border we experience poverty, manipulation and abuse in many ways and the difference is clear as we look across the border. So yes this is one of my complaints in this German Arzate complaints post. When you cross from Mexico into the US at these borders or vice versa it is much like entering a whole different world. Maybe only a river and a bridge divide us but the contrast is amazing. This is where you see extreme poverty in Mexico and where conditions are truly miserable, the borders are as bad as it gets and a poor example of Mexico. But it gives you a clear picture of these two worlds and their economies.
Years ago many dentists decided to move from other towns and cities in the north of Mexico to these border towns for many reasons, one being they saw the dental needs of Americans and felt they could offer their services to them and thus make a better living. Many Americans try to find a way to save some money on dental services which are typically very expensive in the US. The funny thing with many of these doctors is they live on the Mexican side although they do all their shopping in the US, they buy good clothing over there and dress well, they drive an American car and even get gas on the US side, but often the quality of their dental services is inferior. Now I don’t mean this as an open criticism for all dentists on the border and I am sure some still offer excellent service as there are good doctors everywhere I believe. But one of my complaints in this German Arzate complaint post besides the low quality of the dental work that is often given on the border, are also the ridiculously low prices offered, where it is almost free now. On other blogs I have mentioned the fact that many doctors don’t necessarily know how to be business men, don’t do price and cost analysis and often don’t know what to charge, be it too little or too much, but on the border dentists are almost giving their work away for free. Things got worse when Mexico started having drug trafficking problems as many no longer would visit the border towns because of the danger involved and in their desperation to have some kind of income these doctors slashed their prices preferring this over practical starvation.
Some places are almost like ghost towns now, with wall to wall dentists on certain streets, resembling a market place, but they are not even organized amongst themselves. They all try to beat the next guy’s prices instead of offering better quality service and maintaining competitive prices and thus establishing a stable local economy. Instead they opt for these dog eat dog tactics which sad to say many Mexicans do when it comes to business. Often as soon as others see you are doing well and getting ahead they conclude that you must be doing something wrong and they want to stop you.
So this is one of German Arzate complaints post. When these doctors lower their prices so much they may think they are only affecting things locally when in reality it affects us all, dentists and patients all over. This is because thanks to the internet we are all linked now in one way or another. I would imagine that these doctors buy their materials in the US even when they are on sale but when they offer their services at such crazy prices they confuse the patients. Many may be tempted to go to a border town to get their dental work and this is an option. But there is not one “nice” border town that could be considered decent or even safe. So you can give it a try and if you are lucky you won’t get robbed, kidnapped or killed. Many people no longer go to the borders because of this which has complicated things greatly. This has caused prices to drop even more on the border to where they are almost as low as in India. By doing this it affects medical tourism negatively for the rest of us here in Mexico. As far as I am concerned medical tourism are people who plan a vacation trip to a certain destination like let’s say Cancun or somewhere else, they buy a plane ticket, they plan on enjoying their stay while they also take care of some needed medical or dental attention at lower prices than at home. Someone that just walks across the border or gets picked up by the dentist by car and brought across the border I would not count as medical tourism really. But this kind of thing and the low prices hurt the rest of us who are offering high quality services at a fair price because then we get folks in who say “Hey I saw at the border they can do it for only $100 dollars, why do you charge $200?” Of course the person offering services at such a low price may be just trying to get by that day and can’t offer as good service and doesn’t even know what he should be charging. Many people may not know of this dilemma and how border town dentistry is killing the dental economy in all of Mexico. Thanks!