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The number of private hospital beds in Mexico rose 28 percent to 34,576 in 2005 from 27,015 in 2000, according to the census bureau. Private doctors more than doubled to 55,173 from 21,565 during the same period. Surgery rooms in private hospitals jumped 46 percent to 4,545 in 2005 from 3,115 in 2000.
U.S. employers are prodding insurance companies to lower costs by providing incentives for workers to travel abroad for treatment.
The cultural differences between Mexico and the U.S. have lessened after more than a decade of lower trade barriers under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The cab ride from Monterrey's airport into town takes travelers past a Marriott hotel, a Carl's Jr. fast-food restaurant and 7-11 convenience stores.
Mexico operates a government-owned health system that provides coverage for all workers who pay taxes and their families.
About 47 million Americans lack health insurance altogether.