Wednesday, January 28, 2015
This morning I am thinking about healthcare. From what I can tell, this is one of the major reasons that people here return to the United States or Canada. I have been paying for IMSS for maybe five years now and NEVER have I used it. Well, once, when I broke my ankle I went to the IMSS hospital in Guadalajara. After sitting there in a straight backed chair with my foot dangling for five hours and not seeing a doctor and my ankle swelling up like a football, I was finally told that I would have to wait a week with several others in the hospital room before I could have the surgery. They take care of people on five levels of triage. I was next to the bottom in importance.
There was only one toilet for everyone milling about and there were a lot of people in the rooms including some extremely sick looking old men on gurneys being watched over by what looked like their young grandchildren. There was NO toilet paper in that one bathroom. (They also had no wheel chairs. My friend had to go into the hospital and borrow one from another patient in order to get me into the hospital from his car.) I finally asked for a chair to prop my foot up on and they put it directly in front of the bathroom door so people knocked into it when they went in and out of the bathroom. A man was swinging his sour smelling mop all around me. I kept praying that he wouldn't hit me with it. I asked someone how I would get to the toilet if I stayed in the hospital a week and was told that I would be heavily sedated and catheterized. I got scared and called for a ride back to Ajijic.
I had the operation in the Ajijic hospital after two days of waiting for the swelling and my blood pressure to go back down. That operation and four or five days in the hospital cost me a total of two thousand dollars. (Sorry it was several years ago and I can't remember how many days I was there.) It was a good experience except someone there went into my room and stole my money when I was having the operation. And once when the nurse was too busy laughing with her friends to come up and help me, I had to crawl to the toilet with the IV bottle trailing along behind me.
So that is my only experience with IMSS. I was told by one friend that she was kicked off after paying on it for eight years. They said she had high blood pressure but she didn't. She had her doctor send them paperwork saying she had normal blood pressure but they did not reinstate her. This is a worry. I can't remember the exact cost of IMSS but it is somewhere around three hundred dollars a year plus the cost of paying someone to do the paperwork.
Seguro Popular is free. Unfortunately, at this point I know nothing about it. But I do know that you can't have both IMSS and Seguro Popular. They use different hospitals. There are more IMSS hospitals than SP hospitals. I need to do some research on this subject before my IMSS expires. Once it expires, I will have to reapply and go through the several year waiting period before I can use it again. I have heard that SP is not concerned about preexisting conditions and there is NO waiting period. I will let you know what I find out and what I decide. I know many others are interested in this subject.
If you live here and have any more information on IMSS or Seguro Popular, I would really appreciate your feedback.... Thanks