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Jimena Malagamba of La Ventana Bay Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Centro de Salud La Paz, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Cabo there are several hospitals that I know that are very good quality. Doctors from all over the country work there.  I have visited several doctors in Cabo because I want to have the best specialists available.
 
I really like the private hospitals in La Paz, which are very good. There’s a private medical center in La Paz, too and I feel that the service they provide is very good and the insurance companies work really well with the hospitals in La Paz, as well as those Cabo. And we have two in La Paz that are for the general public that are good hospitals. 
 
We have two public hospitals in La Paz, which are also very good, especially when it comes to major surgeries. The public hospitals have the most current and best equipment. Sometimes you will see a doctor in the private hospital but they will perform the surgery in the public hospital.
 
Our little town of El Sargento (about 40 minutes driving from La Paz) is typical of many smaller towns in the area.  There is Centro de Salud, which is like the health center of the town. Normally the doctors in the Centro de Salud of a small town are physicians just graduated and they need to cover their hours. So they’re sent to these types of health centers where they provide vaccines, care for minor health emergencies, and do follow-ups.  Typically, the doctors will rotate in and out fairly frequently.  They generally stay here for 6 months and sometimes less so you never have the same doctor.  However, the nurse is the same person for years and it is generally the nurse who is the one who keeps and maintains that health center. You can see very good doctors or you can get average doctors, but for an emergency such as if you cut yourself, they can sew you up. If you’re sick and you have the flu, they can help you. They help everyone who has a baby to give them their vaccines and check ups.  For people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, they provide the medicine.
 
If someone has a medical emergency such as a heart attack or a stroke, they can call the ambulance at the health center and they’ll take care of you and the doctor will ride with you in the ambulance to La Paz, or if there’s no time you can have someone drive your car to the hospital.  There’s a phone number to Centro de Salud 24 hours a day.  If no one answers, you can call the police and the police will make sure that the ambulance people pick you up and take you away. 
 
We have like a group of 4 or 5 volunteer paramedics who been trained to help you in case the doctors are not available. 
 
I’ve seen a couple of accidents happen.  When they do, I always call the health center first and then they tell me what to do take it from there. I’ve ridden only once in the ambulance with a 75-year-old man who had many surgeries and organs transplanted.   They helped us stabilized him and then drove us away. The people who have had heart attacks here have been able to make it all the way to La Paz with no problem. 
 
There is also another option. In our little town, we have a good amount of retired North Americans, some of whom are doctors, so in their own community, they know who’s the doctor, they call, they get advice and then they work together with the ambulance. I’ve never heard that somebody didn’t make it to La Paz to get the medical help they needed.
 
(Pictured: Centro de Salud La Paz, Mexico.)
John K. Glaab of the settlement company® – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Farmacias de Similares logo – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI have a dermatologist, an eye doctor, and a heart doctor and they are all first class. The University of Guadalajara and the National University have world-class medical schools. In fact my dermatologist in studied skin cancer in Havana, Cuba for 5 years.
 
I’m renewing my driver’s license so I have to have a certificate of health.  In order to get it, I went to the chain of drugstores here called Farmacias de Similares. They really sell generic drugs and they have doctors. I just got my certificate, which cost me 50 pesos, or about US $3.
 
My wife and I have Seguro Social. There are hospitals here where you can pay around US $600 a year, they will give you a little book, and you are good anywhere in Mexico. We use that if we were to have a serious illness because our private medical health and private medical clinics are so much less expensive than up north so we just go to a private doctor and pay around 600 pesos, or $35 per visit. The young doctors who are doing internships are required to spend a certain amount of time in the social medicine hospital.
 
There are different levels of care here. The very bottom is Centro de Salud, which is for Mexicans who do not have any money. In Mexico, anyone has access to healthcare even if you don’t have any money. If you have money then you buy the book and/or if you want to choose private clinics and private doctors, you can do that without a lot of expense. When I travel, I would not go to the United States or Canada without buying a health policy but here in Mexico, I don’t need one.
 
The hospitals in Los Cabos and La Paz are all great. In Cabo San Lucas, they just built a magnificent new hospital with all the in-house laboratories, state of the art equipment, and a hotel beside it with a view of the Sea of Cortez.  The hospital is for the use of family members who would want to be near their family members when they are in the hospital for long term illness.
 
Most of the medical staff and doctors from there come from Mexico City and about 90% of them are bilingual. The hospital a terrific addition to the community and encouraging to the people who want to come down to Los Cabos and La Paz but aren’t sure about running into a medical problem, as well as for other people who are already living here.
 
In comparison to the hospitals in the US or in Canada, the hospital in Cabo San Lucas would be equal or even better. Mexicans are very passionate and very big on personal care. The doctors just don’t get as many patients as they can pass through in a day. They take individual care of their patients. The doctor I just came back from talked to me about where we came from and chatted a little bit. If I were in Vancouver, Toronto, or in Seattle, for example, the doctor wouldn’t have time to talk to me about anything other than getting you in, doing their work, getting you well, and getting the next patient and another dollar.
 
(Farmacias de Similares logo, pictured.)

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