Posted by: Sailing Camelot | April 30, 2011

Our First Mexican Healthcare System experience

Wed Apr 27th

I’m feeling more and more miserable, what I thought was another simple head cold turns into a burning fire in my throat and chest and a plethora of other unpleasant symptoms. I’m a little worried, Tom is positively terrified. A good friend takes me to the local Government-run Clinic, just a short distance from the Marina.

Immediately I am seen by a young, very polite, English-speaking doctor. His assistant takes all my vitals and I get subjected to about 40 minutes of very thorough examinations. I’m amazed that he even spotted the remnants of an old deep-dive injury in my right ear, something that two of my USA doctors denied ever existed, even after my pointing it out… So I feel pretty confident this young guy knows what he’s doing.

 He diagnoses a throat infection, prescribes a week-long course of antibiotics, ibuprofen, and cough syrup. And the worst punishment: three full days of total rest. He’s adamant and unmovable: I am to do nothing but lay down for at least three days. That is really close to capital punishment for me. But since I feel like crap, I’ll comply. Besides, Dr. Ordaz looks too cute and solemn. I’d hate to disappoint him.

I go to pay my medical bill. By now I know enough Spanish to understand, yet I ask the nurse to please write down the amount; I’m sure I heard incorrectly! She gives me the official receipt and the total comes to 66 (sixty-six!) Mexican Pesos. Including the antibiotics! That is equivalent to about US$ 5.50. I am totally shocked! Then it occurs to me that this is the way it’s done in all the foreign countries I ever lived in and most of the ones I traveled through. Only in the good, old USA do we get to pay thru the nose… And I’ll rest my argument right here. God knows, enough people who heard the story discussed the American healthcare system problems into the wee hours of the night. I thought I started a riot…

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