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Dental Work in Puerto Vallarta Mexico . . . Paying Under the Table
Dental tourism is growing at an explosive pace throughout the world. We live in the era of global health, and when it comes to inexpensive dentistry, Mexico is mighty attractive and often the first travel-for-treatment experience of a medical tourist.
A question about payment practices was brought to my attention and the unfiltered conversation reproduced below sheds some interesting insight into the dental payment plans and practices one might encounter.
Note: Pending the launch of our social media site where people will be able to post these questions in a forum to solicit opinions from other members, I am posting the question and answer here but redacting personal information.
Dentistry in Puerto Vallarta Mexico . . . the question
Here was the question posed:
Subject: 21% surcharge for using MasterCard at dentist?
I have made an appt for some dental work in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but am concerned about a subsequent revelation that using my credit card would cost an extra 21%. I can get the cash, but am concerned about the justification for these charges as 5% credit card fee and 16% Mexican tax. Does this mean the dentist is not reporting his income when he is paid in cash? I am concerned about the legitimacy of this operation.
Any ideas or comments?
Here was an answer from a Traveling4health member who owns a 2nd home in Mexico and has local knowledge of the medical and dental clinics in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:
Dentistry in Puerto Vallarta Mexico . . . the Answer
Hi [name redacted]
My husband and I see Dr. V regularly for our dental care. It’s Mexico….. Some things seem strange to us and they seem even more dedicated to not paying taxes than many Americans.
One time Dr. V actually asked us to make the entire check out to one of his vendors, totally bypassing him in the “monies received” process. A couple times we’ve made the check out to his wife.
He may have asked us for some lab fees up front last time, I don’t remember, but it wouldn’t worry me if he did. He has a very modern, clean office in the Marina district and we have simply never had any problem on any level.
Early this year my husband’s procedure took several visits and Dr. V was always there, always on time and when we reminded him we wanted a cleaning too, Dr. V threw that in at no charge.
There is a newer guy in the office, can’t remember his name, but he did some work on my teeth a couple years ago and he was also very good. He had told me the whole thing would cost about $550 and when he was done he just kind of looked in my mouth, counted “one, two, three ah, okay, that’s $325. Like I said, it’s Mexico.
If you like to do outdoor stuff and are fairly fit try the Vallarta Adventures “Outdoor Adventure.” You’ll get a little of everything… boat ride, Unimog ride, donkey ride, zip lines and rappelling. It’s great and takes about half your day. South of town, towards Mismaloya, there is a restaurant called El Set. Right next to that is a hotel called Lindo Mar. They have a restaurant downstairs and on Sunday’s it’s the best truly “Mexico” buffet in town. I think it’s around $9-10. Also Las Calatas is great by day or night for the Rhythms of the Night. Very romantic.
Let me know if I can answer any further questions Enjoy.
Health Articles and Medical Tourism Reports
Traveling4Health’s social media site promotes the free exchange of information between members. Continue reading health articles about dentistry in Mexico posted by or about our members: Retire in Mexico for a better healthcare experience. Trust but Verify – tips for how to find a good dentist in Mexico.
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The author: Ilene Little
Ilene has written 198 posts to this blog. Ilene Little, CEO of Traveling 4 Health & Retirement (THR), has written the definite guide for the medical tourist How to Plan a Successful Medical Tourism Trip featuring live interviews of patients, doctors, facilitators, and caregivers. Tune in each week at noon Eastern Standard Time to the Know Before You Go Radio Show hosted by Ilene Little broadcast on the Overseas Radio Network.
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