Since we’ve lived in Mexico, we take trips all over the country and go on different adventures. This particular adventure was riding horses in the countryside in the state of Puebla with amazing views of the Popocatepetl. This is Mexico’s second highest peak at 5426 meters or 17,800 feet. It is an active volcano that’s part of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. On any given day, you will generally see plumes of gray smoke or even ash and rocks shooting into the sky. You may even hear the “Popo’s” deep rumbling from far inside the Earth.
The horse ride was a lot of fun and we even rode through a hacienda in ruins. As we were at the furthest point out, the horses began to run and my horse got too close to another. The other horse kicked at my horse but didn’t get the horse. It got me squarely in the shin. The blow nearly knocked me off. I managed to stay on and get the horse stopped and got off holding onto the guide. I laid down and put my leg up into the air. I had to wait for my group to ride back and bring the car to pick me up. As I waited with my daughter, two cowboys rode up and stayed with us to make sure I was ok.
We got the car and stopped for ice to ice my leg at the beer store, then went into the next town. We were told there were a couple of large clinics. We found one of the clinics and the staff came to get me from the car with a wheelchair. I knew it was bad and was pretty sure the leg was broken as any movement was unbearable.
The nurse took me directly to an examining room and said the doctor would be right with me. There was no wait. The doctor examined me right away, gave me a shot for the pain and told me he would do an x-ray.
At this point, I asked him how much this visit was going to cost. I didn’t want any surprises. It is always best to ask. I let the doctor know I live in Mexico. He consulted with the administrative staff on duty and came back to give me a quote. He said if it’s not broken and it’s just the x-ray and consultation, it will be the equivalent of $125 USD. And if it was broken, depending on how it needed to be set, it would be a little more. Clearly, I was just fine with that.
They brought the x-ray machine to me and x-rayed my leg right on the bed where I was lying. They developed the x-rays in 10 minutes. Fortunately, it was not broken. The doctor gave me lots of do’s and don’ts to deal with the leg trauma and a prescription to keep the swelling down. He told me to stay off of it for at least 2 weeks and to visit my doctor once I got back home.
The prescription cost about $6 USD and I found crutches in a secondhand store for $7 USD.
The clinic was small and clean but not anywhere near the sophisticated facilities we are used to in the US or Canada. But, as Americans, we’re also not used to a 10-minute wait and a $125 ER bill. I was extremely happy with the treatment at the clinic.
This was an excellent health care experience in Mexico as far as emergencies go. However, do not just wing it.
If you are just traveling to Mexico, you always need travel health insurance. Always. Get it. If you are living in Mexico, you should also always have health insurance either through your employer or that you buy outright or through the Mexican healthcare system that you have access to as part of your visa status. You have many options for good healthcare coverage in Mexico. Do your homework and be sure to always have coverage when you are in Mexico.
To know more about your insurance options in Mexico, read our article here. How To: Health Insurance for Expats in Mexico
And for a Review of Health and Medical Insurance Options for Mexico, read our article here.
You can always read more about Healthcare in Mexico on our blog page here: https://mexicoliving.org/category/health-care/
You will see that you can also choose categories on the right of the blog page and explore our other topics like real estate investment or relocating to Mexico. Be sure to check out our “How To” articles.
My experience was in a private clinic. They are usually much more expensive. However, as I fortunately saw, that is not a steadfast rule. Sometimes your pricing may depend. Depends on the clinic, location, the doctor, your ability to speak Spanish, maybe depends on politics at that particular moment, or the phase of the moon. So just be sure to not let it depend on any of those things just in case the stars are not perfectly aligned the day you need to go to the emergency room. Just make sure you have insurance coverage.