BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Thousands of Rio Grande Valley residents, Winter Texans, and others visit Mexico for low-price medication and procedures.  

They search for affordable medical and dental assistance because many of them do not have insurance so they come to places like Progreso, Mexico.

“It’s probably 80% less costly,” said Harlingen resident Ron Ryalett. ”Big pharma is a big reason why everybody goes to Progreso or into Mexico. It doesn’t matter if it is this part of the state or Arizona. Just do the math you know.” 

Some already have appointments with dental surgeons and said there are plenty of dental offices across the border. 

“I’ve had a good bit of dental work done,” said Chuck Mullaney. “A number of caps and some other work. There’s a bunch of dentists there to pick from.” 

The American Journal of Medicine says millions of Americans sought health care in other countries. Mexico ranks fourth in the world for medical tourism. The top procedures are dentistry and cosmetic surgery.

All this comes as the U.S. State Department issues travel warnings about not visiting Mexico.

The fear of losing a loved one in a situation such as the recent fatal kidnapping in Matamoros does not stop Dalia Garcia. She travels with her sister for protection while going for the medication they desperately need. 

“Yes, I am afraid. I am risking myself so my sister doesn’t cross alone,” said Garcia. 

Leroy Paulson from Wisconsin traveled to Progreso for a niece to buy inhalers in quantity. He said it would have cost him 30 times more back home. 

“Medicine we’re getting for friends because it’s so much cheaper here. An inhaler is $2 or $2.50. At home it’s $65,” said Paulson.