Medical – Done for Now

One of our top reasons for moving to Mazatlan was to get medical care. Both of us still had outstanding tests to be taken care of and decided to stop trying in Tucson and get it all done much quicker in Mazatlan.

I had decided I no longer wanted to fly to Houston to see my doctor at MD Anderson for follow-up tests every six months only to have my flight cancelled after driving to Tucson. We arrived in Mazatlan on a Thursday evening. On Monday I called a doctor that was recommended. He answered the phone and I thought I had accidentally been given his personal number. He said to the contrary, he wants to talk to his patients. I explained what I needed and he made an appointment for the next morning.

The next morning after I told him what tests and lab work were required, he picked up the phone and called one of the hospitals and got me in that very afternoon for a neck ultrasound and also a mammogram because I needed that too. Office visit cost $25 dollars. Unlike in the US, an actual doctor of radiology did my ultrasound and told me to wait while he prepared a report. Ten minutes later he gave me a written report of the results and everything was good. Total cost for both tests: $95 dollars. Next I went to the lab for a series of blood tests and one of them is very expensive in the US. Cost was $100 dollars for all.

Then I needed a follow-up endoscopy and that was $400 dollars and my new doctor drove to the hospital and was there when the procedure was done under light anesthesia. Ulcers have healed, yay! But I still couldn’t eat many foods and the doctor prescribed a medication that is made in Italy that is not a proton inhibitor which I no longer wanted to take. It’s a liquid gel and what a miracle that medicine is.

Next, Steve needed a colonoscopy that he’s been trying to get for almost a year. It was cancelled once (after driving to Tucson), he changed gastro doctors and then the new gastro doctor, family doctor, and cardiologist all passed the buck to each other on who would manage his blood thinners. He’s on twice the dose that most people are on and has had some serious issues with clots and hemorrhaging over the years. None of the doctors would give Steve specific instructions other than to tell him to stop the blood thinners and inject himself with heparin. How, when, how long, dosages, the restart of thinners……vague.

We decided he would get the colonoscopy in Mazatlan. The instructions by our new doctor were clear and were written down. Total cost was $450. Normally it’s $400 but our doctor had an emergency doctor standing by in case anything went wrong with bleeding. Again, everything was good and now we are done after only two weeks in Mazatlan with all that was going to take many more months to do in the US.

There is a downside. If something serious happens suddenly where we can’t get to the US, we have no medical insurance here and can’t get any due to either/or our ages or for pre-existing conditions. We are committed to adding 1/3 of our income to a separate savings each month to be used only for hospitalizations. In Mexico, the hospitals want payment upfront via credit cards. And unlike in the past, from what we hear, the private hospitals are charging considerable more these days. This is a concern but what can we do about it?

Our family doctor is just fantastic. He’s a real human being. He makes house calls. He told us if we ever had an emergency, date or night, to call him and he would obtain transportation for either of us to a hospital but that he would probably be at our home before the ambulance. He told us not to call 911 because the ambulance companies are paid by the various hospitals to bring patients there and of course they pass the cost onto the patient. I hope we never find out but in the meantime we are under contract for a condo quite near our doctor’s office so that he won’t have to travel so far to see us in an emergency!

One comment

  1. Being Canadian our medical different, but all our American friends talk about the high cost of medical insurances and I think they called them donuts some kind of deductibles. So after the dust settles you are probably aren’t under water too badly, and have the benefit of quick and dependable medical care. So happy for both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

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