Thankfully 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.