The medical and healthcare in Mexico is excellent. There are many free clinics, and many pharmacies that have doctors will either see you for free or for a very slight fee, usually, for 40 pesos (US $2.75). If you saw a specialist, depending on what part of Mexico you’re in and the size of the metropolis, you could expect to pay anything from 100 pesos (US $6.25) to 400 pesos (US $25).
Most of the doctors now are newer doctors, who finished their medical school in Mexico and received their specialty or residency, which is often done in the US, Canada or Europe. As a result Mexico has doctors who are completely bilingual, not just in English but sometimes in several languages.
Compared to Santa Barbara, California, which is where I’m from the quality here in Mexico is even better in many, many cases, not just of the equipment and the doctor’s knowledge but most importantly the quality of healthcare and how a doctor treats you here. You can spend an hour or two hours with a doctor here going over your symptoms or condition, chatting about your family, you getting to know your doctor and most importantly your doctor getting know you that I know is not practical and does not happen in the US. In the US, if you have a private doctor it takes you an hour to fill out the application they give you at your own doctor’s office. God forbid, you go to an emergency room and even with insurance, paperwork it takes you two hours to fill out your paperwork before the doctor even sees you in the ER. Is there a big difference? There’s an enormous difference in the quality of care here in Mexico.
In Mexico, your paperwork is done after you receive your care. If you have an emergency and you’re not well, you want to talk with the doctor and the doctor talks to you first – the doctor gets to know you first, the doctor examines you first, before you go and fill out any paperwork. The doctors do house calls here. The doctor doesn’t ask you or tell you how much his fees are before he treats you, because the fees are not an issue. Most of the treatments are affordable and if they were to be expensive the doctor not only would tell you, “Listen, we might do something that’s quite expensive,” or he might think is expensive, and if you’re a local, there’s always arrangements that doctors make for you to pay the bill in case you don’t have insurance here or the national insurance that’s Mexicans have.
I’ll give you a great example. A friend of mine just got out of the hospital with pneumonia. His bill for a 10-day stay in the hospital with 24-hour treatment, with the doctor and everything else was 35,000 pesos (about US $ 2,200), which included a CT Scan. I know a CT Scan in the States would cost a little bit over a thousand dollars. My friend was tested for dengue, chikungunya, and they finally did the CT Scan and realized that he has pneumonia. The doctor’s fee was only 5,000 pesos (US $312). This was just a few days ago.
The best part is, for some reason my friend’s credit card or debit card wasn’t working because she over stayed how long she told her bank she would be in Mexico, so in order to protect against fraud, they didn’t allow any more charges in Mexico. The doctor saw her problem, and knowing that she’s a new local resident that opened up a new company here, the doctor offered to pay her hospital bill until Monday, when she could figure out what was going on with her credit.
Overall, her charges in Mexico without insurance I believe would still be less than what your out of pocket with insurance would’ve been in the US. I was just saw that one that a person got a snake bite somewhere in the States received a bill for $150,000.
(Weight loss surgery performed at Hospital Star Medica Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, pictured.)