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Chuck Bolotin of Best Mexico Movers – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Ajijic neurological surgeon Dr. VarelaSpeaking from personal experience, I would say that the doctors in the Lake Chapala / Ajijic are not good.
 
They’re very good.
 
I wrote about my experiences comparing the healthcare I received in the US with the healthcare I received in the Ajijic area here.
 
When I was in the US, on those very rare occasions when I went to the doctor, I felt extremely hurried and that the doctors were not taking the time to sufficiently understand my problem.  Here in the Lake Chapala area, the situation is the opposite.  It is not at all unusual for a physician to take up to an hour with you.
 
In the US, even though I was on time, the physician usually wasn’t, so I had to wait in the waiting room for long periods of time, fill out interminable amounts of paperwork, then wait in an examination room for another long period of time, before the doctor would appear, talking as he or she entered so as not to waste time.  I would then feel under pressure to state my issue as quickly as possible, usually as the physician was writing or looking at a computer screen.
 
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The situation is completely different here in the Ajijic / Lake Chapala area.  Here, because the cost is so extremely reasonable, when I have a problem, I got to the doctor.  I don’t have any insurance paperwork to fill out because, even though I do have insurance for major problems, I pay for my visit with cash.  I usually get seen right away.  Rather than going into one of several examination rooms, here, I enter the physicians’ office, where he or she is waiting for me.  I usually sit down and discuss my issue in a very relaxed manner before going further.
 
In the period of two years, I have seen a neurological surgeon (video here), a physical therapist, a massage therapist, an internist, a podiatrist, an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor and a dermatologist.  From reading this, you would think that I was pretty sick, but this isn’t the case; I was just catching up on the doctor visits I didn’t do while in the States.  Each time I went, the medical professional took the time to understand my issue, was logical in their approach, and was successful in their treatment.
 
Like anywhere else (but more so in Mexico), it is important to choose your physicians wisely, and I have been very happy with mine.  It is also very important to point out that the healthcare that expats generally seek out and receive here in the Ajijic / Lake Chapala area is not the same healthcare that a Mexican laborer would receive.  Given our relative wealth as expats, even for what we would perceive to be ridiculously low prices, we expats receive near the top healthcare in Mexico, which in my opinion, is better than the average healthcare I received in the US.
 
Interested in moving to the Ajijic / Lake Chapala area?  Try Best Mexico Movers.
Bruce Fraser – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Alta Retina Clinica, Ajijic, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingOn average, I would say doctors in Chapala and Ajijic are good. There is a high proportion of doctors to the population and a lot of specialties that you normally wouldn't find in a small town area. They're very competent on the whole. 
 
A city the size of Calgary, Canada would have a cancer clinic, other specialty illness clinics, and so on. We don't have a cancer clinic in Chapala and Ajijic because we don't have enough population to support it. I'm not even sure there's one in Guadalajara.  
 
Medical tourism in Mexico is becoming a big thing. There are doctors here who are affiliated with B&Bs (bed and breakfasts). People will come down for face lift surgery or something similar and they want to do their research in advance. Most of the doctors involved in medical tourism are generally recognized to be competent.  
 
Other people who have a fall or any illness and need treatment can either get it done here in Chapala or Ajijic or sometimes they get recommended to go to Guadalajara. The facilities there are very good. The public health system is a different kind of public health system than we have up North, especially in Canada.  
 
People have had hip replacements at the IMSS Hospital (run by the Mexican government) in Mexico. They were very satisfied with the treatment and the how soon they can receive their care. Hip replacement and knee replacement surgeries are considered an option in Canada, because It's not life threatening, so you might wait three or four years to get it done. In Mexico, you wouldn't wait three or four weeks. That makes a huge difference to a lot of people. 
 
Medical outcomes in Mexico are comparable to outcomes in the Canada and the US. Generally, there are poor doctors and great doctors in any place. Some doctors have a bad day even if they have a good reputation. I've been lucky to be relatively healthy, so I haven't had much done to me, but people who have seen doctors here in Mexico are pretty happy with them. I don't have any concerns about being here as I get older and need more healthcare. I'll stay in Mexico. 
 
(Alta Retina Clinica, Ajijic, Mexico, pictured.
Percy Pinklebutt of Percy Pinklebutt Enteprises – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Medical equiptment, Lake Chapala, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingLike anywhere, there are doctors in Chapala and Ajijic that are excellent and there are some that are not so good. There are a couple of local private clinics here, such as Maskaras and Ajijic Clinic, which offer x-rays and 24-hour medical assistance.  Doctor Garcia runs Maskaras clinic and his wife was our pediatrician, she is still there and now cares for my friends’ children.
 
For anything serious, you are likely to be taken to Guadalajara where there are a number of large hospitals. In Guadalajara, you also have the IMSS number 46, which is the best ER Hospital in Mexico according to a few doctors that I know here. The standard of care in the city of Guadalajara is generally accepted as high. There are doctors of every specialty available there and many of them bilingual.
 
One of my school friends, Oscar, is now a doctor.  He and his family have their own general practice in Chapala and they are bilingual office. There are many options from which to choose with regard to healthcare in Chapala and Ajijic. Also, Guadalajara is only 45 minutes away by car/ambulance. 
 
(Medical equipment, Lake Chapala, Mexico, pictured.)
Steve Cross of Luxury Homes Ajijic – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The quality of medical care here in Ajijic and Chapala is excellent. I have friends who have actually come here from the U.S. to have things like hip replacements etc. done and when they have returned to the U.S. their doctors have been amazed at the quality of the work. We have several excellent doctors such as Dr. Santiago and health issues should not be a concern for someone living here with regards to the quality of care.
Thomas Hellyer of Lake Chapala Real Estate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Hospital Universitario de Guadalajara, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThankfully I don’t often go to the doctor’s but we have certainly used the doctors here in the past; for example, when our third child was born here 5 years ago by caesarian birth. We had excellent pre-natal care all the way through with a local general practitioner and we had very inexpensive office visits. When we needed to have ultrasounds, we went and had those and paid out of pocket for about US $40.
 
Just before it was time for the caesarian surgery, our doctor introduced us to a couple of Ob-Gyns.  We met with them, talked to them about how they might do the surgery, how much it would cost, and who their team was. Then, we got to pick the group we felt most comfortable with. We went through the same process in choosing a hospital. The entire experience was amazing. We spent less than $2,000 out of pocket. We didn’t have any health insurance coverage at that time. The clinical service, the surgery, the after surgery care, and the post natal care were all just amazing. It was nothing compared to the experience that we had for our first two kids, who were both born by caesarian birth in the US.
 
Most retirees down here don’t worry about having babies but our experience illustrates how the quality of care that you get from the doctors here in Chapala and Ajijic is the same as in the US or even better. The time that the doctor gives you and the fact that they don’t rush you out of their office or the fact that they are open to do house calls any time of day or day of the week is just great. House calls are still common here and they are affordable. We have all the same medicines available here as the ones you would be prescribed in the US. 
 
In general, the doctors here do not try to load you up on as many medications as possible. They try to look for other ways to treat you and sometimes they they even look for natural or holistic ways to deal with sickness. We have found the experience of going to the doctors here very positive and affordable. We now have private insurance with a high deductible, which we could use if something bad happens but for everything else, we pay out of pocket as it is very affordable. 
 
The doctors that we regularly use are all here in the Chapala area locally but if you do need a specialist, you might very well be going into Guadalajara (the closest major city, about 25 miles away). Many cardiologists from Guadalajara come to the Chapala area on a regular basis; once a week or once every two weeks. If you need to see them right away, then you might have to go to Guadalajara, which is about 45 minutes away from Chapala. Guadalajara is a city of about 7 million people so the hospitals there are well equipped, just like any major hospital in a city in the US. Unequivocally, there are two very well-regarded medical schools in Guadalajara and in fact, many Americans study medicine in Guadalajara. 
 
I am fairly familiar with this topic because I was also working on putting together a medical tourism business, which I eventually didn’t pursue further because I was getting too busy in real estate. The hospitals here in Chapala and Ajijic, and in Guadalajara are just fancy and amazing. There are hospitals here that are even comparable to a five-star resort. They have everything you need for medical purposes and when you go in, it’s like going to a lobby of a Four Seasons hotel.
 
(Hospital Universitario de Guadalajara, Mexico, pictured.)

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