Doctors in Mexico do not enjoy the same income levels that doctors in the USA do. This translates to more reasonable health care costs for Mexican residents and for foreigners who use medical services in Mexico. To supplement their income, it is not unusual for a doctor to own a pharmacy (Farmacia) as well as practicing medicine. The quality of doctors in Mexico, as well as most anywhere else, varies considerably. So for non-emergency medical services it would be advisable to get a local recommendation. If you don't know someone to ask, there may be a local tourist assistance group such as IFOPE in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. You'll find tourist support groups listed in the Miscellaneous section of a City's web page on tomzap.com. You could also check for a "Best Of" page in the Index. Or you could ask on the Visitors' Comments.
Dentist work in Mexico is much less expensive than in the USA. The quality of dentist services in Mexico, as well as most anywhere else, varies considerably. So it would be advisable to get a local recommendation. If you don't know someone to ask, there may be a local tourist assistance group such as IFOPE in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. You'll find tourist support groups listed in the Miscellaneous section of a City's web page on tomzap.com. You could also check for a "Best Of" page in the Index. Or you could ask on the Visitors' Comments.
Farmacias in Mexico are everywhere. A downtown area will have one every couple of blocks or so. As mentioned above, pharmacies are often owned by doctors. In some cases, if you don't have a prescription they can write one for you. The pharmacist can often be helpful if you just explain what your situation is. There is a vocabulary list on tomzap.com for medical terms that may be useful. It seems like the more technical the words become, the more similar they are in English and in Spanish.
As medicines become more numerous and more expensive in the United States the practice of buying them while in Mexico is on the increase. I don't know much about this so perhaps some of you readers could write in and share your knowledge and experiences here. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I get questions about this occasionally. If you have a medical condition that could require emergency treatment while you are visiting Mexico, I have the following suggestions.
- Before you go, write up a brief description and history of your condition. Begin with your name, birthdate, your doctor and his contact information, and who to notify in case of emergency. Include a list of medications and dosages that you are taking. Include a list of anything that you are allergic to. Unless your Spanish is very good, I would just write this in English. Get this onto one sheet of paper or less and carry it with you. Give your travelling companions copies. That way, if you do have an emergency, someone can just hand this to the doctor and you don't have to worry so much about communicating all this information during the emergency.
- Also before you go, find out where you might find treatment and how to make contact. At some destinations there are local organizations that assist foreigners who are in need. Look on this web site in the Miscellaneous section of the town you are to visit. You can also ask business owners who advertize on this web site who may live in Mexico. Another method is to ask your question on the Visitors' Comments.
- Find out how to say your condition in Spanish. [If it's not there, email me.]
- And finally, take care of yourself and don't overdo it. Maybe get some rest after your trip down. Don't let yourself get dehydrated. Protect yourself from the sun and mosquitos. Plan strenuous activities away from the heat of the day. Consider a taxi ride rather than a hard walk. Don't drink or brush your teeth with the tap water. As far as I know, Huatulco is the only location I cover that has potable tap water and even there most people drink bottled water.