Friday, March 2, 2007

A plug for our local newspaper and healthcare in Mexico

Today's issue of the Jaltemba Express is jam-packed with loads of information. If you're reading this later than March 2 (of which there is less than an hour left as I write this, so you probably are) click on my link to them over there on the left of the page, and then find their link to back issues.

Today they've got maps of the Fonatur development that will be surrounding us during the next fourteen years, and an account of the big new dam that will straddle the states of Nayarit (where we live) and Jalisco (where Puerto Vallarta and the airport are).

There's also information about dealing with health issues and buying health insurance down here.

The health issue I believe, is one of the main reasons so many Americans (particularly aging boomers) are moving south of the border. Or at least taking long vacations here. Just before she left, Mom cracked a tooth on a tostada chip at a Mexican restaurant in Lubbock. Her dentist told her that she needed an implant -- USD$3,000, and a crown --USD$800. So she decided to wait until she got down here. For the implant she'll pay $8,000 pesos, and $1,000 for the crown. Those are pesos, and at this writing the exchange rate is 11.7 pesos to the dollar. Do the math. Worth the trip!

But before she sees the surgeon at Oral Care here in La PeƱita, she needed a full set of mouth x-rays. They don't do that here, so that was the reason for the trip to PV today. We did it for both her and for Larry, who has decided to quit looking like a snaggle-toothed old hippy. We went to a spotless, very modern facility, gave them name and money -- $240 pesos for a full set of x-rays -- and took the x-rays. No appointment necessary. We were in and out in under fifteen minutes. Larry carried his set of x-rays to his Oral Care appointment this evening at 7:00. (interesting hours for dental work, as well as for meal times!)

Concerns about "quality" health care are what most people bring up when we're back in the States and we're asked about our decision to move down here. We can speak from experience. Three days after moving here, I spent three days and two nights in Amerimed Hospital in PV. The hospital was pristine, modern, comfortable, and I had a large private room -- one of six available at that particular facility. Most of the staff of 40 spoke English. All were courteous, competent, and extremely professional. And gentle.

Part of my time there was spent in several hours of surgery. I was out of it, but Larry said there were six physicians, an anesthesiologist and several nurses in attendance. Among numerous other services, I received four units of blood. Total bill at check out time: a little over $80,000 pesos. We put it on VISA and counted our blessings.
The topper: a week or so later, we had a question and called the head surgeon directly. He had provided us with his personal cell phone number. He answered himself, and quickly dealt with our concern. I don't hear of that happening much in the States.

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