While I was not particularly thrilled to find myself with a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder–something about 50ish years of miles on my body I guess–I am eternally grateful for the Medical Care in Mexico that has once again proven itself to be easy-to-access, efficient, friendly and affordable.
After both a spinal and abdominal surgery in 2015, and a host of other medical situations one has when both raising a family, I feel somewhat “seasoned” as it pertains to the medical system on this side of the border.
Making The Appointment
I called to make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist in Puerto Vallarta after months of a nagging shoulder pain that evolved into something that was keeping me up at night with increasing pain and limited mobility. I phoned the office directly–no having to go through a primary for a referral or an on-average 6 week appointment wait as was our experience in the States.
I was able to get in to see a Dr. Ricardo Vázquez at Imagenología y Centro de Diagnóstico across from Plaza Caracol, just 2 days after having placed the call.
Once at my appointment and after an approximate 5 minute wait, I was greeted and walked back to the consultation room by the doctor himself. Upon a thorough evaluation, Dr. Ricardo wrote me an order to radiology for two x-rays, which conveniently enough was located just downstairs in the same building. Here at radiology my wait time was also around 5 minutes, if that, with no prior appointment needed.
800 pesos later (about $41.00 USD) and with x-rays in hand, back up to Dr. Ricardo’s office I went where he was waiting for me to go over the results. Thank you.
After a thorough explanation of the results (torn rotator cuff confirmation), more in-office clinical assessments, a 3-ingredient infiltration injection into the back of my shoulder (gee that was fun!), a booklet of at-home exercises and a prescription for anti-inflammatories, I was on my way with indications to return in a month for a possible MRI based on how I progressed.
The doctor and his assistant spent nearly two hours with me, never once looking at their watch or rushing me out the door. Muchas Gracias.
The total cost of this appointment with Dr. Ricardo was 2,300 pesos (about $120.00 USD). While that is not the “usual” 600 to 800 peso consult fee that we have paid for other medical needs (dental cleanings, ENT consult, pulmonology, etc.) this was also not a basic, routine appointment.
I am so grateful that I didn’t have to jump through hoops, spend mind-numbing hours on the phone, wait for weeks or months on end to access top-notch medical care. Gracias, mi querido México, como te quiero.
*Edited to add, based on some private messages I received: Yes, this is private care and we are grateful that we have made provisions to have access to it.
The morning after that ginormous horse-sized injection, my pain level significantly diminished and I am on the road to recovery with office and home physical therapy. I am once again so incredibly grateful for the ease, efficiency and affordability of excellent medical care here in Mexico!
P.S. For those of you that live full or part time South of the Border (or travel back and forth frequently), what has your experience of medical care in Mexico been? Please feel free to share in the Comments Section below…