The U.S. Department of State is asking American tourists to avoid Mexican clinics in the beach resort area of Los Cabos in Baja California after receiving multiple allegations of abuse. Some of allegations include kidnapping patients until payments were made, price-gouging and withholding the tourists passports.
In a recently released travel warning, the U.S. Consul General in Mexico is putting tourists on alert about the abuses. “In recent years the U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana has received numerous complaints from tourists regarding health-care facilities in Los Cabos,” the warning revealed. “Complaints documented by the Consulate include allegations that some Los Cabos-area hospitals have withheld care for payment, engaged in price gouging, failed to itemize charges, withheld U.S. passports, obstructed needed medical evacuations, gave monetary incentives to ambulances for delivering patients to specific facilities, and held patients at hospitals against their will pending payment.”
Consular officials compiled a list of clinics and hospitals they advise tourists to use and to recommend avoiding others not in the list.
In the travel warning, diplomatic officials remind tourist that most clinics in Mexico do not accept U.S. insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.
In late 2014, the once calm region around Los Cabos began to see an increase in violence as various cartel factions began to fight for control of drug territories. In response to the spike in violence, the U.S. Department of State added the once calm region to the areas where travel warnings are in effect. Currently multiple Mexican states are listed under travel warnings in order to notify tourists about the constant cartel activity in the areas and to keep them aware of the propensity for violence and other crime where bystanders can easily become victims.