Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
08-31-2017, 08:20 AM,
#1
Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
I share this story not as a hard luck story but to ask if you have an emergency medical plan. We are all invincible and live forever, right? I knew I was, as I had been traveling Mexico for over 30 years just happy go lucky without ever a thought of what to do if my luck changed. My awakening happened this past week.

I had a relatively bad case of "the bug" but was on meds and on this day I was in a rush to get from San Miguel to GTO and along with the rush I wasn't drinking the water I should. I grabbed the last seat on the bus headed to GTO and sat for an abnormally long time at the bus station before we left. The AC wasn't working and it was stifling with all those people. We finally pulled out and before too long I broke into a sweat like I had never experienced. About 20 minutes later I was falling unconscious. Trembling and with little muscle control, I made it up to the driver, beat on the door yelling yo es muy infirma until he let me in. I begged he call the ambulance and he said there was no cell service. I fell to the floor in the stair well but finally I had the wherewithal to pull out my phone (Telcel thankfully) and saw that I had 1 bar signal. I dialed 911 and handed the phone to the driver. With a lot of huffs and puffs, he finally snapped to the emergency, covering me in gel alcohol while a young female medical student rushed to the front to my aid and began pouring bottles of water down me.

The ambulance finally arrived and I was asked where I wanted to go. WHAT a decision. By a miracle one of the three medics spoke perfect English and we tried to make the best decision. I was delirious at the time and so disoriented trying to pick from the three choices she gave (somewhere where you will have to wait a long time if not life threatening, and the other two will be very expensive). So I randomly picked the new emergency clinic back in San Miguel.

Now bottom line is, these people saved my life. Still it is not without note that I make a statement here about their services. While this is a full service facility (UniMedHS), they don't require a family member be present to serve as your night nurse like a most Mexican hospitals, so it ends up being a full facility patient drop off service. The service is state of the art, you are assigned a full time nurse during your stay, one which will likely be attending to you alone.

They started me immediately with an IV and into that apparatus, administered secondary injections almost on the hour. I was extremely apprehensive about what I was receiving because it was perhaps 10 times what I had received in US hospitals. I asked (in Spanish) what was the contents of each. Most were "for pain" even though I had not complained to the doctor of pain. After about an hour after being outfitted and placed in a gown with an IV, I was asked to make a 10,000 peso deposit. I asked if the service was really going to cost that much. I was assured I would have refunded money if my treatment "was not required to continue". The next morning I begged to be released after having a new lease on life and was presented two full sheet lists of every single thing I had received, which came to 11,500 pesos.

So for a fraction of what I would have been charged in the US, it still wasn't along the lines of other medical experiences I had previously received in Mexico. Now I am by no means ungrateful for being able to again log into this forum nor am I able to explain the thoughts that come into one's mind after having been given the gift of life for a second or third time. However for posterity and for the benefit of others who may have to make a similar decision in the future, I am hoping that this information will serve as an inspiration for you all to give serious thought to what you might do in a similar situation.

If you have any info on Medical facilities here, it might be a good idea to share it. Had the same thing happened in GTO, I'd likely be up, well you know the name of that creek.

Feel free to share your experiences and suggestions. It's time, at least for me, to find out just a little more about what medical services are available here.
08-31-2017, 08:36 AM, (This post was last modified: 08-31-2017, 08:37 AM by DonJuane.)
#2
RE: Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
I am certain dehydration affects everyone differently but from my recollection, the first symptom is feeling more tired than you have ever been. Then a headache. Then in my case I am not sure if it was the claustrophobia of being too hot on a bus with no way to escape but I started to sweat profusely. Then I felt anxiety and depression and my vision began to become distorted. My balance fell off and my entire body felt a slow wave of feeling like a uniform growing pressure was pressing into me, pressing my entire body into the ground. Then my legs and ankles started to ache. By now I was lying down and in the ambulance and after being fed all that water on the bus, at least I came back somewhat to be able to converse with the first responders. At this point the room continues to spin and I closed my eyes in some sort of dream state in the ambulance while seeing the passing streets and building as some sort of slow blur of a semi illusion, like nothing you have ever experienced before.
09-05-2017, 08:10 PM,
#3
RE: Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
Don Juane,

I am fortunate to have a full coverage medical plan which is offered by the Unversidad de Guanajuato to its full-time employees, current and retired.

I'm glad that you survived your emergency; you would have been okay here, too. In Guananjato city, I can recommend the facilities at the Centro Medico de la Presa, where I have been for two emergencies (broken foot and kneecap) and three surgeries (deviated septum, hysterectomy, and knee surgery). I received excellent care and saw no need to go to a hospital elsewhere. I have heard that if it's an emergency they can't handle at CMP, an ambulance will take you to Leon.

I believe others pay out of pocket or have Seguro Popular; they can explain what their plan covers or you can look into it yourself.

Right now we're all alive. This dreary weather is perfect for going to the movies. This week there are Mexican films in Teatro Cervantes, European films in the UG's CineClub (next week will be Swedish films), and they're all free. Looking forward to OSUG's concert this Friday, too.
09-05-2017, 08:36 PM,
#4
RE: Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
Our medical care solution here is Centro Medico de la Presa as mentioned by others above.
It is a private facility with about 20 on staff physicians covering most specialties. Operating rooms are on hand. There are a few hospital rooms that provide 24 hour care for in patient needs.
We are cash only for medical care here. An office visit is around 500 pesos depending on time and care.
A recent full soup to nuts physical with lab, X-ray and EKG was 3500 pesos.
Dr. Gerardo Mora Campos is an excellent GP there with wonderful English. His brother and father also practice there but are surgeons.
09-05-2017, 10:35 PM,
#5
RE: Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
I've heard a lot of good things about Centro Medico de la Presa, but are they capable of treating major medical emergencies such as a ruptured appendix or a heart attack, or should one go to the main hospital in Silao for those emergencies?

Also I see on maps a couple of medical facilities down around the Comercial Mexicana near el Cantador, one is labeled SSA, the other IMSS. Can one walk into one of those in an emergency, with cash? I've read of another on Plaza de la Paz.
09-06-2017, 11:08 AM,
#6
RE: Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
Quote:Also I see on maps a couple of medical facilities down around the Comercial Mexicana near el Cantador, one is labeled SSA, the other IMSS.

No idea what SSA is. IMSS is IMSS #10. It's the IMSS hospital for this area, and they also do stuff like lab tests and ultrasounds.

Quote:Can one walk into one of those in an emergency, with cash?

No idea.

Quote:I've read of another on Plaza de la Paz.

It's some sort of private hospital.
09-06-2017, 12:30 PM,
#7
RE: Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
I am confident that the trauma specialists at CMP would deliver needed emergency care for nearly any illness or accident. They may then move the patient for longer term care following initial treatment.
This is a very well equipped and staffed facility located close for rapid response.
Without accepted insurances it is a cash pay solution.
09-07-2017, 12:01 AM,
#8
RE: Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
SSA means the hospital is registered with the Secretaría de Salubridad y Asistencia (Mexican Health Secretariat). I'm not sure what the hospital at Cantador is called, there's also a Hospital General out by the bus station.

For minor problems, you can also try the Cruz Roja, next to the Comercial Mexicana. I went there for a tetanus shot and to clean a cut I got from a rusty piece of metal. Also, I called them at 065 when I broke my foot in my house and couldn't get down my callejon to get to the emergency room. They sent an ambulance, carried me up my callejon on a stretcher, took me to the Centro Medico de la Presa, and only asked for a voluntary donation. When I broke my kneecap, I was on Calle Sangre de Cristo and was able to flag down a taxi to take me to the hospital, much quicker than calling an ambulance. So if you must break a bone here, do it where you can catch a taxi afterwards!

For lab work, I prefer Proquimed on Calle Ponciano Aguilar - the street which runs on the side of the Basilica to the post office. The woman who takes blood samples there is quick, painless, and has never left me with a bruised arm. Also, if you have to give samples on "ayunas" (fasting) there are plenty of restaurants nearby to have breakfast.

The place in Plaza de la Paz is a clinic/hospital, they also have equipment to do x-rays, mammograms, ultrasounds, etc. I go there for those tests because I can walk there easily. The UGTO used to let us go there for emergency services, but they no longer do; I'm not sure why, I've seen ambulances there. I have visited patients in the Plaza de la Paz clinica and from the facilities I've seen, I recommend the Centro Medico de la Presa if you are sick or need surgery.
09-07-2017, 12:55 AM,
#9
RE: Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
"..
For lab work, I prefer Proquimed on Calle Ponciano Aguilar - the street which runs on the side of the Basilica to the post office"
And they offer discounts to Seniors.
09-07-2017, 05:38 PM,
#10
RE: Do you have an emergency medical plan? I didn't.
For lab work, I prefer the Similares lab. Like the Similares pharmacies, it generally has much lower prices than anywhere else, and as near as I can tell, it does fine work. Senior discounts are available as well.

It's located on an upper floor of the building immediately east of Mercado Hidalgo--the building that used to house a San Francisco de Asis pharmacy and now has a clothing store. The entrance is on the side of the building facing Mercado Hidalgo.

There's now a Chopo lab here as well. Chopo is a national discount chain, with prices lower than most labs offer, I think, but a little higher than Similares'. The local branch is located in Plaza Cantador, next to Office Depot.

Don


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