Mexican ER (I think)

3 Feb

I have never had a urinary track infection (UTI) in my life, but by lunchtime on day one in Bacalar, I knew something was very wrong. I was peeing frequently and it hurt and was getting worse. We had seen what appeared to be a clinic not far from our casita. The red cross and ambulance parked outside were the clue. So off we went to experience first hand the Mexican health-care system. Going up to a window, I announced, “quiero ver un doctor“, and they handed me the usual clipboard. Not being Mexican, having a local address or phone did not seem to be a problemo. We sat in a waiting room filled mostly with moms and little ones. It could have been a pediatric clinic for all I knew. After about 20 minutes I saw a doctor who asked me all the questions you would expect, symptoms, how long, etc. while he poked and prodded my abdomen. Since I understood him and responded in Spanish, he did not speak to me in English so I don’t know his English-speaking abilities. He prescribed antibiotics and looked at me curiously when I suggested that maybe I should, “pee in a cup?” His response was a bit of a chuckle and “why? it’s obviously an infection,” shook my hand and moved on. I couldn’t argue with his logic, especially when I had almost total relief in less than 24 hours. The entire experience lasted about 45 minutes and cost me $15 which included two medications they handed me before I left. The encounter was very different from any ER visit I’ve been subject to in the US. While basic, it did not feel like, “cover your butt” medicine that tests for every possible ill. I left feeling confident that I’ll get adequate health care at the hands of the Mexican medical system.

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