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Arts & Culture

Port Of Entry Podcast: Medical Tourists Aren’t Always Crossing The Border To Save Money

Maria Davis-Cherry is pictured in front of a cancer clinic in Tijuana in this photo taken in 2019.
Kinsee Morlan
Maria Davis-Cherry is pictured in front of a cancer clinic in Tijuana in this photo taken in 2019.
From KPBS and PRX, “Port of Entry” is launching a new series on medical tourism at the border today. Up first: We follow a San Diego woman as she crosses the border for alternative cancer treatments in Tijuana. This isn’t an investigation into the efficacy of alternative cancer treatments. Instead, it’s a story about one woman’s cross-border experience and her own personal convictions. Follow “Port of Entry” online at www.portofentrypod.org, or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/portofentrypodcast) or Instagram (www.instagram.com/portofentrypod). Support our work at www.kpbs.org/donate. Search “Port of Entry” in the gifts section to get our sling bag as a thank-you gift. If your business or nonprofit wants to sponsor our show, email podcasts@kpbs.org. Text or call the "Port of Entry" team at 619-452-0228‬ anytime with questions or comments about the show.

Despite the pandemic and travel restrictions, people are still crossing into Tijuana for medical procedures and medications.

And, in fact, over the past decade, the urban landscape south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry has transformed as investors build big, new medical centers and pharmacies.

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Filling up those new medical facilities at the border are people from the U.S. and other parts of the world who cross south to take advantage of more affordable medical procedures and medications. They’re looking to save money on everything from discount dental work and weight-loss surgery to more affordable insulin.

But, not every single medical tourist is crossing the border to save money.

People like Maria Davis-Cherry are crossing the border in hopes of saving their own lives.

From KPBS and PRX, “Port of Entry” is launching a new series on medical tourism at the border. Up first: we follow Davis-Cherry as she crosses the border for alternative cancer treatments in Tijuana.

And look: This isn’t a hardcore investigation into the efficacy of alternative cancer treatments. Instead, it’s a story about one woman’s cross-border experience and her own personal convictions.

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