First of all, don’t assume from the picture of the ambulances above that our friend faced some major medical crisis. He didn’t.
He went to the hospital seeking treatment of a chronic wrist condition that had previously been treated with cortisone injections back in the States. Yep, that’s it.
The only reason that this incident is even blog-worthy is because he sought treatment in Mexico and that’s what this whole blog is about.
We figured that some of our readers — especially those who live outside of Mexico — might be curious about the cost and quality of care that he received.
No Appointment, No Insurance
There are two healthcare systems in Mexico: public and private. Linda and I have always opted for the private due to the shorter wait times, better facilities, excellent level of care, and affordable price tag.
We were hanging out with our friend and his wife anyway, so we decided to swing by Costamed, a private hospital about 15 minutes from where we all live. If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you might remember the article about Linda getting some dental work done there.
We didn’t bother to call ahead to make an appointment because this was more of a fact-finding mission. I really didn’t expect them to be able to see him immediately — but they did.
Within 10 minutes of arriving, our friend was being seen by an orthopedist. The doctor examined his wrist and gave him a cortisone injection. Before we knew it, he was done.
Our friend classified the level of care as excellent.
So, How Much Was it?
Just like in the States, being seen by a specialist in Mexico is more expensive than seeing a general practitioner.
If our friend had been seen by a general practitioner, it would have only cost him $250 pesos ($13 USD), but due to the nature of his injury, he was told he would have to see the orthopedist, which cost $800 pesos ($42 USD).
By the way, those are the rates for local residents, which is anyone from the State of Quintana Roo.
Our friend had to show them his local driver’s license as proof. We didn’t ask how much it would have been for non-residents. Sorry, folks.
The cortisone injection costs an additional $700 pesos ($37 USD).
Grand Total: $1,500 pesos ($79 USD)*
* Based on an exchange rate of 19 MXN : 1 USD
Let’s Wrap This Up
The key to avoid paying too much for medical care, even as a local resident, is to get a price quote BEFORE being seen or accepting any recommended treatment (e.g. cortisone injection).
I was careful to do that when I slipped and busted my head open back in May. If you missed that story, you can check it out HERE.
I don’t have any medical visits planned for the near future, but if something comes up, I’ll be sure to share the experience with you folks.