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Mexico's Opinion on Health Care Reform

Health Care Reform Debate

I consider myself very lucky that I do not have to worry about US health care insurance and the ongoing reform debate. Hopefully, a solution will be reached that will effect bipartisan agreement.

Coming from Canada we enjoy wonderful health care and even though I know things have changed a little in 15 years getting timely and appropriate care is still the norm. When my mother was sick we had 2 – 8 hour shifts of caring homecare workers coming to the house to help us care for her at home. All visits from doctors and nurses were paid for along with all equipment, supplies and drugs. We also had emotional support from our hospital (Sunnybrook in Toronto) that, in fact, put us in touch with all the services available at no cost to us.

My sister also had wonderful care at Sunnybrook for her lung and subsequent brain cancer and I am happy to report is still alive 20 years later. I, too had very positive experiences with Sunnybrook and have an association with them to this day.

We hear comments that the US is heading towards Canadian Health Care and for the life of me I do not understand why this would be a problem.

When I had an issue here in Ajijic,Lake Chapala I contacted Sunnybrook and they not only found the best doctor in his field for my special needs they also faxed him all my records from Toronto at no charge.

I am also very happy with the health care here in Ajiic, Lake Chapala. We use Clinica Maskaras on the carretera between Ajijic and Chapala. In the early days whenever I received a diagnosis from Dr. Carlos Garciam who heads up Maskaras, I would run it by my Sunnybrook team and they were always in agreement with Dr. Garcia’s findings. I have also used Dr. Gonzalez, the bone man, Dr. Don Olivera, the dentist and Dr. Martha Ballesteros, the dermatologist. I have been happy with all of these doctors and now trust them completely.

Another thing I like about health care here is when you do have a test here or in Guadalajara they give you the results as soon as possible verbally and in writing. I find it very refreshing that doctors and technicians here seem to grasp that it is your body and, therefore, are entitled to know the results of any test performed on you.

I find the CARE laboratorio connected with Clinica Maskaras very professional and the technicians are very kind. This is the same with Victor who does all the x-rays and other tests such as mammograms at Clinica Maskaras.

There is a plan whereby you pay approx. $2,500.00 pesos per year for unlimited visits with Dr. Carlos Garcia and this plan also offers discounts on any lab work and x-rays.

Dr. Garcia will also make house calls which is something from the distant past in Canada.

When a friend of ours had to have surgery in Guadalajara and had a 2 day hospital visit the total cost including the surgeon, support staff, hospital and all drugs was $5,000.00 US. The hospital was very clean and professional and they treat their patients with kindness and concern. This too seems to be a lost art up north.

There is also a Mexican health care option called IMSS and for more information on this service you can check it out at Lake Chapala Society on Independencia.

The only thing I can think of that would make me leave Mexico and return to Canada is ill health but for the time being I am very happy with the health care here.

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