IT’S ALL IN THE ATTITUDE
By Sam Grubb
We recently had occasion to take the Princess to the hospital in Mexicali. This is the second time we’ve been there, and the care is phenomenal. There is just no comparison to the medical machine that is the US medical community. Just for comparison let’s take two examples, one US, and the other Mexican.
A year or so ago, I took a friend to the States because he was really sick. We went to the emergency room and they kept him all day long and performed a whole battery of tests. At the end of the day the Dr. finally came into the room and announced that it would be two weeks before they had all the results, but for now, everything looked normal. Now my friend was in so much pain that he couldn’t even walk. So the Dr. said that he would give him a prescription for pain pills. My friend told him that he couldn’t take that one because he was allergic to that drug. The Dr. said, “It doesn’t matter, that’s what I’m going to prescribe.” With that he discharged him and left the room. To say he was an arrogant prick would be an understatement of classic proportions. The bill was several thousand dollars, and there was no serious effort at a diagnosis, just a whole bunch of tests designed to cover their butts.
Now, let’s return to my trip to Hispano Americano Hospital in Mexicali. We arrived late Sunday afternoon. They met us at the door with a wheelchair and took my wife into the emergency room and immediately began testing and simultaneously treating her. Not until they had her stabilized did they ask me for a credit card deposit for the treatment. By Monday morning they had her not only stabilized, but actually feeling good. Our room was spotlessly clean. I say our room, because there was a couch in the room for me to sleep on. They were coming and going all night with IVs and pills and magic potions. That morning our doctor came in and thoroughly discussed the prognosis with us and told us that she could discharge her that evening. I whined about the prospect of driving back to San Felipe at night, and said that we would probably just get a motel room. The Doctor said, “Oh no, you don’t have to do that. You can stay at my house.” As it turned out she released us in time for us to go home that same day. We were there for a little over 24 hours, they performed a CAT scan, ekg, and I’m not sure what else, plus all the treatment. The bill was about $1,200 USD. Dr. Laura Lopez is a gem. She is a board certified internal medicine specialist and a really nice person. Last year she gave us her cell number, and when we need to call her, she actually answers it. This is truly patient centered treatment.
It totally escapes me why anyone would want to return to the States for medical reasons. Our experience is that the Mexican system provides better quality care at affordable prices. The Americans should be embarrassed by how broken their approach to medicine is. It’s slow, totally focused on avoiding lawsuits and ridiculously expensive.
It’s just another reason why we are so lucky to live in this beautiful country.