Yes, we do have good doctors in La Paz. The hospital that I would recommend the most in La Paz would be Fide Paz, as they always have a general practitioner on duty for emergencies and going to that hospital is not very expensive. It will probably cost 350 pesos (around US $20) for a consult. You can usually get x-rays, ultrasound, and any other kind of lab testing really quickly so you don’t have to wait a long time.
Fide Paz is a private hospital. There are also government hospitals such as Salvatierra and Seguro Social. Expats are able to get medical care in government hospitals but they would get charged; they won’t get free medical care as would a Mexican. In Mexico, we have Seguro Popular so that Mexicans get free medical care in government run hospitals.
The quality of the medical care that you will receive in Los Cabos and La Paz, just like in other places, would depend on the hospital you would go to. If you go to Salvatierra, then I might compare it to a hospital in California, which I am able to do, because I happened to go to a hospital in California. If you go to a private hospital here in Mexico, in my opinion, it’s going to be a lot better than the hospitals in the States. The hospitals here have better quality.
My experience in the US is that they weren’t too quick to tend to me. I didn’t feel that the nurses really cared, so it was very impersonal. Here in Mexico, you would get a really different quality of care, and they are quick. Medical care here is also a lot less expensive. In the States, I had to go in for kidney stones and I don’t think I was there for more than 6 hours but I got a US $4,000 bill. I had to do that here, too, and it cost me just 6,000 pesos ($325), and I spend the whole night in the hospital.
I live in La Ventana, which is a small fishing village that’s about 45 minutes away from La Paz by car going south on the Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula. There are no hospitals in La Ventana but there is health center with one doctor who lives at the health center. There’s also a nurse and the center has an ambulance so if something happened here and you need some serious medical care, you would be transported to La Paz in the ambulance. I had to take the ambulance to La Paz once and I was at the hospital within 35 minutes, so living here in La Ventana doesn’t concern me at all. During the high season, there is a really high number of Americans and Canadians who come here and among them, there are several doctors who everybody knows. If there’s a medical problem, they may say, “Oh! Let’s go see Dr. Mike…” and they won’t mind helping.
(Central de Especialidades Médicas Fidepaz hospital and pharmacy, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, pictured.)