Mexico, Medical Care Finds A Way
By JOHN M. DERBY
February 8, 2018
Questions about living in Mexico often have to do with handling
our area (600 miles south of the border) getting vital medical
care promptly has its problems, however, getting medical
care in California also has problems.
are 60 miles from a regional hospital which is open for
business 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has doctors
who are either full time or ones who must serve their tour
of duty in regional hospitals before they can be assigned
to a larger one.
miles from our beachfront development is a clinic which
is only open until 7 p.m. and has a doctor on call. For
minor ailments it can provide the first level of care.
also have two nurses who live right in the development,
one of whom just spent two days with an elderly patient
who came down with a problem of bleeding ulcer. These nurses
are unpaid and do this out of the kindness of their hearts.
The patient was 89 years old and his wife was in Arizona
while he came down to his home in Baja, Mexico.
it turned out, his medical situation was too serious for
the local clinic and he had to be taken by ambulance to
Santa Rosalia where the regional hospital is located. The
ambulance is manned by a volunteer force called the Bomberos,
or firemen, who also have EMT training.
chief of the Bomberos is also a member of the Mulege Rotary
which helps sponsor the fire department and ambulance. Most
of the vehicles they use have been donated by fire departments
in the United States, and are in fair condition, but gas
to run them is always at a premium.
an ambulance be required, the cost is minimal. For instance,
in one case where the man was taken to Santa Rosalia, the
round trip was about 120 miles and the Bomberos asked for
a “donation” of 500 pesos, or $35 in US currency.
Another patient was taken to a hospital in La Paz, (500
miles round trip). The charge was only $350.
daughter of the man with the ulcer, flew from Arizona to
the nearest international airport (Loreto is 65 miles away).
A pilot who lives at our development, flew down to pick
her up and transport her to the hospital so she could be
with her father.
was given two pints of blood as part of his treatment in
the local hospital and his daughter and he drove back to
Arizona for follow up treatment. The word is that he is
recovering fine and it wouldn’t surprise us to find
him back down in Baja next season.
medical care in Mexico is not equal to that in the United
States, it is being handled by combining local volunteer
members of the community along with the medical professionals
who are available. And it is being done in a surprisingly
do lose some people due to lack of facilities, and with
the population living longer, the problem of timely medical
care is ongoing nationally and internationally.
the plus side, being in Mexico in the winter is much healthier
than living in the Central Valley of California where people
are not as inclined to get outside and exercise. Here in
Mexico we are playing tennis, beach ball, kayaking, sailing
and hiking, in 70 to 80 degree weather.
could be better for the body than regular exercise.
to medical conditions, it is amazing the quality of medical
care that is being provided using volunteers in addition
to local resources.