"Looking for Love in the Wrong Places: Puerto Rico's Elusive Medical Tourism Dream"


Ah, Puerto Rico, the land of enchantment, where dreams are supposed to come true. But it seems that in our pursuit of prosperity, we've been looking for love in all the wrong places. Medical tourism, they say. Yes, let's bring in the wealthy patients from far and wide to revitalize our struggling healthcare system. What could possibly go wrong? Well, just about everything, it seems.

  1. A Mirage of Prosperity:

Oh, how we were promised that medical tourism would be our saving grace, the solution to all our woes. Doctors leaving, hospitals on the brink of bankruptcy - no problem! We'll just attract wealthy patients from across the globe to fill our empty beds and line our pockets. It's like building sandcastles in the desert, hoping for a flood to come and save us.

  1. A Sinking Ship:

But alas, the reality is far from the dream. Our doctors are fleeing the island, searching for greener pastures where they can thrive. The hospitals, once pillars of our healthcare system, are crumbling under the weight of financial burdens. And yet, we continue to chase the elusive medical tourism dream, as if it were a life raft in a stormy sea. Oh, the irony!

  1. Fish Where the Fish Are:

Perhaps it's time for a reality check. Instead of setting our sights on a distant horizon, let's focus on the problems right in front of us. It's like trying to catch fish in a barren desert. We need to address the root causes of our healthcare crisis, invest in our local talent, and rebuild our infrastructure. Only then can we hope to attract patients for the right reasons, not just as a desperate attempt to keep our heads above water.

  1. A Lesson in Priorities:

While the idea of medical tourism may sound glamorous, let's not forget that our primary responsibility should be to the people of Puerto Rico. It's like neglecting our own family while we chase after a fleeting romance. Our healthcare system is in dire need of attention, and diverting resources to attract medical tourists only exacerbates the existing problems.

 But wait, there's more! Let me share a personal anecdote that perfectly encapsulates the absurdity of the situation. My 88-year-old mother recently needed an appointment to see an eye doctor. She called in August 2023, only to be told that the next available slot was in February 2024. "Take it or leave it," they said, as if her eyesight could wait half a year. It's as if they expect us to have the patience of a saint and the endurance of a marathon runner.

 In my own experience, I moved to Puerto Rico two years ago, hoping to find a thriving healthcare system. But alas, it seems that finding a doctor who accepts Aetna or United Healthcare Plans is like searching for a mythical creature. It's a quest that takes me back to the U.S. every year, just to receive the care that should be readily available on this island. Even a simple root canal required me to embark on a dental odyssey, traveling far and wide for a procedure that should be accessible in my own backyard.


So, dear Puerto Rico, let's put an end to this misguided pursuit of medical tourism. It's time to focus on what truly matters - the health and well-being of our own people. Let's rebuild our healthcare system from within, invest in our doctors, and provide quality care to all who call this island home. Because, in the end, true love - or in this case, a thriving healthcare system - is found right where we are, not in some elusive dream of medical tourism.