Sensible healthcare

I LOVE OUR healthcare system, one of the many positive aspects of Mexican life.

My child bride developed a stomach ailment yesterday. It kept her up much of last night, so we decided on a doctor visit today, which was easy as pie.

medThere is a privately owned clinic in town that’s about five or six years old. It’s a modern, two-story affair with a small hospital upstairs and doctors’ offices and a lab downstairs. The doctors include an internist, a family doctor, a dermatologist, an ear-nose-throat man, a traumatologist, a gynecologist and a pneumologist, whatever that is.

I imagine most are also surgeons because in Mexico many doctors are surgeons even though their specialty is something else. This is a major difference from how doctors are developed in the United States where if one is a surgeon that’s what he is, period.

Here it’s common to encounter an internist who’s a surgeon too. Same for family doctors, dentists, etc. My father-in-law was a small-town doc and a surgeon to boot.

You can also go into medical school straight from high school. No intermediary degrees are necessary. This means you can encounter some very young doctors.

Back to this morning. Keep in mind that it’s Saturday. We phoned the clinic. The doctor was in, the main one who’s also the owner of the clinic. We drove there. A nurse took my wife’s vital signs and within five minutes she was in the doctor’s office. I waited in the lobby with my mask on. A few minutes later, she exited with a treatment plan.

The doctor visit cost the peso equivalent of $18 U.S. Medical insurance did not enter the picture at all. We paid cash.

I stopped at a nearby drugstore for medicine on the way home.

We decided to visit the doctor around 9 a.m. We departed the clinic around 11, treatment in hand. The patient is resting comfortably as I write this.

12 thoughts on “Sensible healthcare

  1. Espero que la señora se siente mejor, amigo mio.

    No se sI te dije, acabo de empezar a trabajar por una facilidad detención de jovenes hasta 18 anos de edad. Son imigrantes illegal, ninos que cruzan la frontera. Soy El lead medical coordinator para la facilidad de hasta 300 ninos. Necessito recordar hablar español lo mas pronto lo mejor. 🥴

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    1. Marco: Gonna have to practice elsewhere, amigo. We speak English here. The following is a translation for folks who pass by who do not speak Spanish, which is, I am pretty sure, almost all of them:

      “I hope the lady is feeling better, my friend.

      I don’t know if I told you, I just started working for a detention facility for young people up to 18 years of age. They’re illegal immigrants, children crossing the border. I am the lead medical coordinator for the facility for up to 300 children. I need to remember to speak Spanish as soon as possible.”

      And no, you had not told me about this new job. Sounds interesting. Turn them all around to face the border. Then give them a shove in the right direction, back toward their homeland. Thanks in advance.

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  2. My wife and I have had similar experiences in Mexican healthcare. I’m more than satisfied. We have both had procedures done here. We have paid cash, no health insurance. I had a surgeon ask me if it would be all right to come in on the weekend and do a minor surgery as he was away on Monday. This happened on a Wednesday, three days and I was in and done. Other Canadians have told me I could have got it done for free in Canada, but I had been on the list for two years and had no idea when it could be done. Good emergency care in Canada. Everything else takes a long time.

    P.S. I went to our local hospital emergency room, 270 pesos and the doctor’s card with cell number and don’t hesitate to call any time if my knee got more painful. Had to wait 15 minutes to get in.

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    1. Kirk: Better here than in the United States. Better here than in Canada. And healthcare is not “free” in Canada though many think so. It’s funded by taxpayers.

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  3. I too sing the praises of all things medical in Mexico. I have had two hospitalizations since I moved here. First, for a broken right ankle while ziplining. The second was a nasty case of cellulitis in my left leg. The medical care was excellent. The hospitals were good.

    I have never understood why some northerners flee north for medical treatment. Cost and expertise both have the edge here.

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    1. Señor Cotton: I have been here somewhat longer than you, and I’ve yet to be hospitalized. Knock on wood. But I sure as the Devil would not flee over the border were it necessary. Quite the contrary. I always chuckle when I read of Gringos down here who buy medivac insurance as if they live in Namibia.

      Why do they do that? One is, I think, that they cannot speak Spanish. Two is that, in spite of so many of them going on about how wonderful Mexico and Mexicans are, they really don’t trust either Mexico or Mexicans very much and feel that “real medical care” is not available here. Arrogance. So they flee when ill. Another reason they do so is Medicare, of course. And if I were poor and had a very serious problem, I might follow their lead. But if one has a modicum of financial resources, it’s better to stay because, in comparison, even great care here is very inexpensive in comparison to the United States. Actually, who knows what medical care costs up there? They don’t tell you if they can avoid it. Insurance takes care of it all, and insurance is not cheap, from what I have read. I have no medical insurance in Mexico. It’s available, of course. Not all that cheap if you’re oldish. So I just continue to wing it. Worked out fine so far, 20 years now. Lord knows how much I’ve saved by not buying healthcare insurance or medivac coverage either.

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  4. And that is why I returned to Mexico to ride out the virus. I decided the risks of the disease were no greater here. Plus the fact that this is my home. Being an immigrant gives me a far different perspective than merely being an expatriate. It does matter.

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  5. I had similar good experiences with medical care in Honduras. If you can pay a small price in cash, which unfortunately isn’t the case for most poor Hondurans, then quality medical care was available. Prescriptions were much cheaper, too. I didn’t have medical insurance in Honduras, Didn’t need it, even for a brief hospital stay with a bad stomach ailment, the cost was minimal.

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    1. Laurie: The healthcare system in the United States is a thing to behold, and not in a good way.

      We have two tiers of healthcare here, the private and the public. The private, which is what I’ve always used, is great and, unless you’re poor, quite affordable, ridiculously so compared to the United States, and the public, which is run by the government. It has flaws, but it’s far better than nothing most of the time. It runs from very cheap to free.

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  6. Life expectancy Mexico 75.13. USA 78.93. Canada 81.

    These are from 2019. Still very close, when you see income per capita.
    Who knows what the new numbers will be in two years?

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    1. Nomad: Much of what makes our life expectancy somewhat lower is lousy eating habits, I think. The diabetes rate down here is very high. And the education level is very low.

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