Saturday, October 29, 2011

Physical Appointments

In Mazatlan you have a few choices concerning as you go or use the National system, if you’re accepted.

To date, we’ve opted for ‘pay as you go’...not really common to us Canadians, but so far it’s working well.

After paying about $250.00 for a year we received our ‘Friend of Sharp Hospital’ card which entitles us to many benefits and discounts as well as FREE parking! You are also entitled to an annual physical check-up for just under $200.00. Now, for us girls, that means an ECG, chest x-ray, mammogram, pap, blood work, breast ultrasound, urine analysis, nutritionist consult as well as Doctor consult. Nothing to really get excited about...same ol’ stuff we had done in Canada.

So Thursday morning, I dropped into ‘Sharp’ and started the process.   The ‘gringo liaison’ was very helpful and in less than 10 minutes of walking through the doors I had my one appointment booked...yes you read it right...ONE appointment for all of it AND it was scheduled for the next day, Friday at 9am!!! Ok this is a little freaky since nothing in Mexico runs on time, but I took my slip of paper and my specimen jar and went home.

Getting up early I proceeded to have a glass of water...Hub decided to have coffee, cereal and toast...offering to get me something. Yeahhhh, righttttt. Here I was starving myself for the fasting portion of the check-up and he’s waving food and drink in front of me!!! Needless to say I couldn’t get out of the house fast enough. I returned to ‘Sharp’ hospital, waving my little card at the boys at the entrance gate and drove on through to park (remember, FREE parking!!)

I arrived at the reception at 8.50am with the specimen jar, a book to read (experience in Canada has shown us to bring our own reading material and good idea here, since everything in Mexico is Spanish) and my card but before I even sat down, they took the jar and showed me to the first room... and in less than one hour I was driving home!  
That’s right, all the tests were done and results would be ready in one week.

Some of the benefits of this ‘pay as you go’ process....

1. In Mazatlan Doctors, Hospitals and Clinics do  NOT keep your records. They are your property to do with as you choose. There is no reason to pay anyone, like in Canada, to have your records moved to another doctor!!!

2. There is no calling to set up individual appointments...and no waiting around at the doctor’s office (hell I’ve waited anywhere from 30-90 minutes for a scheduled appointment in Canada!!)

3. And parking is FREE!!! Anyone that goes to specialists or hospitals in Canada knows how that cost can add up for just one visit, let alone repeat visits (and you know there are always repeat visits in Canada.)

Upon arriving home I give Hub the details, while he sits drinking his coffee, enjoying the sun and trying to make heads or tails out of his Spanish homework.

“Okay you bugged me long enough to get my check-up. Done! Just when are you getting yours done?”

He walks out the backdoor waving over his head... ‘Hey, I’m a busy man! I’ll get around to it.’

I walk over and add ‘annual physical’ to his LIST.

Just a few thoughts from 2 Canadians living and loving it in Mazatlan!
Linda and Hub.