By Glynna Prentice
Reprinted with permission from www.BuildinginBaja.com
Recently I had an eye problem and went to see an ophthalmologist in Mérida. The doctor’s office was bright, immaculate, and had the same equipment I was used to in the States (as well as a couple of specialized, high-tech machines that aren’t routine equipment). A very efficient, white-uniformed nurse gave me a preliminary check-up. The doctor himself—who spoke English–then spent about half an hour checking my eyes and giving me prescriptions and a treatment plan.
The doctor’s visit cost me 500 pesos, which these days is about $40. And I spent another $30 or so on eye-drop medications he prescribed. The entire cost was less than a doctor’s visit would have run in the U.S. Just a couple of weeks ago, I heard a Mexican doctor, Dr. Luis Suárez, talk about the high quality and low cost of Mexico’s health care at International Living’s Live and Invest in Mexico conference in Tulúm. But I have to admit, there’s nothing like experiencing Mexico’s health care firsthand to make you a believer…Dr. Suárez—young, energetic, fluent in English and with a modern, integrative medical practice—is a good example of the top-notch doctors you can find across Mexico. And like Dr. Suárez and my ophthalmologist, my dentist, too, is up-to-date and English-speaking.In mid-sized and large cities you can usually find numerous clinics, hospitals, and physicians in private practice where the quality of care is similar to (or even better than) what you’d find in your home city in the U.S. or Canada. Most major expat destinations in Mexico have at least two top-notch hospitals. In fact, a place often becomes an expat haven in part because good health care is available there. Mérida, for instance, has the Star Médica Hospital and the Clínica de Mérida, among other options. Puerto Vallarta’s private hospitals include the CMQ, Amerimed and the Cornerstone Hospital. In addition to its local clinics, the Lake Chapala area has easy access to hospitals in Guadalajara—Mexico’s second-largest city and a medical-care hub. And the list goes on and on…. When I’m scouting out a destination I always check on the health care there. Fortunately, I find that the list of good hospitals, clinics—and medical staff to run them—is getting longer all the time.
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