Mexican Medical

I’ve partaken in the Mexican medical system a number of times. In short, it’s been awesome. Given that I come from Canada where healthcare is predominantly free, I find paying a bit of a shocker, but I’ve gotten used to it pretty quick. Healthcare in Mexico has 2 tiers, public and private. IMSS is the public system, has been around a long time and Mexicans(like so many other things, I’m finding out) are ahead of us. The private system is generally paid out of pocket and then claimed from your health insurance provider. The prices are very reasonable for the stellar service that you get. Here’s my scenario. I’m comparing the Canadian and Mexican system. Just before coming south to Puerto Vallarta (PV) I had a physical with my GP, of many years, in Ontario. He spent a grand total of 10 minutes with me. He ordered blood work, took my blood pressure, told me he was going to put me on blood pressure medication and I was out the door. He wanted follow up blood work a month later. A month later, I’m in PV. To find a physician in Mexico you are best to have an English speaking broker. We have a marvellous one named Pam. She was a nurse, has been down here for years and knows the system very well. You tell her what your problem is and she sets you up with a good physician. I wanted a ‘physical’. Here it’s called a ‘man’s checkup’. I don’t think I waited a week for an appointment to go to the lab and have a very comprehensive array of tests done before I had an appointment with the physician. I had to poop and pee in a cup, they took blood, took chest x-rays, a very comprehensive ultrasound of my entire abdomen including prostate, bladder, liver, and heart. I also had an EKG. Don’t think I forgot anything. A few days later I saw the doctor. He spent close to an hour going over everything with me. They found 3 important (but not life threatening) things that my Ontario physician missed. He put me on the table and went over my entire body. I’ll be referred to 3 different specialists to delve deeper into the things that they found. I felt really good about this whole process and felt really angry at the Canadian system. This checkup by the way cost me $300 CDN (4600 pesos). I felt cheated by the amount of tax dollars I spend on a really crappy healthcare system with no choice to get anything better in Canada. I suspect it would end up as outrageously expensive as the US system if it were privatised but it just doesn’t work as it stands right now.

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