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A taste of Mexico’s healthcare system

This week is winter school vacation for our kids so we are down in Mexico.

Yesterday my daughter Ellie bumped her head pretty hard at the pool and ended up needing a couple of stitches (small cut but kinda deep). I felt so bad for her but she’s a remarkable kid. If it happened to me I would have milked this injury for more sympathy but she’s already back in the pool today :)

It was our first taste of a healthcare system outside of the United States. Clearly this is only one data point but here’s how it went down from a healthcare point of view:

Ambulance. The hotel called an ambulance for us. Came to the hotel in about 10 minutes. Driver was helpful, friendly and informative. Took 20 minutes to drive from the hotel to the hospital. Cost: $60 round trip.

Hospital. The hospital and emergency room were clean and professional. Ellie was seen by a doctor within 40 minutes of arriving at the ER. They saw a few other patients in the emergency room and the staff did a good job prioritizing which patients needed care first. Cost of emergency room and two stiches, $900.

Medicine. The doctor told us to pick up antibiotics for Ellie to avoid any risk of infection from the initial cut. Ellie is allergic to the default type of antibiotics so the doctor gave us an alternative. Cost: $40 which included a service charge because the pharmacy dropped it off at the the hotel. It took just two hours for the medicine to arrive after calling it in.

Naturally, I’m not thrilled that Ellie was hurt but I’m grateful that it wasn’t serious. Mexico’s healthcare system took good care of her.