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There are a number of folks who move back to the states because of medical care but they should be aware of how the medical profession in the USA has changed in the last 5 years. Waiting for an appointment to see a family practice doctor or a specialist can kill you. Here are some wait times for appointments across the USA:

Waiting for appointment across USA in 2017
Average new patient family practice physician wait time, 50 days
Average wait time for appointment for Cardiologist 21.9 days
Average wait time for appointment for Dermatologist 32.3 days
Average wait time for appointment for ObGyn 26.4 days
Average wait time for appointment for Orthopedic Surg 11.4 days
Average wait time for appointment for Family Medicine 29.3 days
 
We are fortunate to have the ability to see almost any specialist in 3 days or less thugh we might have to go to Guadalajara.
Going back, remember to make your appointment a month or two in advance.
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59 minutes ago, geeser said:

There are a number of folks who move back to the states because of medical care but they should be aware of how the medical profession in the USA has changed in the last 5 years.

 
We are fortunate to have the ability to see almost any specialist in 3 days or less thugh we might have to go to Guadalajara.
Going back, remember to make your appointment a month or two in advance.

Actually, geeser, everything is relative. We find that over the last 5-8 years our medical needs have been served extremely well by doctors, clinics, and hospitals where we go NOB. We do all of our medical stuff NOB, if it at all is more than just routine. That decision was based on our local Lakeside experiences ( leave it to say they were not pleasant). We have absolutely no difficulty getting in to see a provider NOB, often the same afternoon that we call, should something urgent come up. My cardiologist, if he can't get me that day, will send me to a quality cardiologist friend, the same day, and will check on me. So, for us, and where we go 6 months a year, there is no concern. I believe that those who return NOB (as a majority) have very similar experiences. We schedule yearly checkups, etc. just as anyone would do anywhere.  So, people need to speak for themselves, that is the best anyone can do, no?

 

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8 minutes ago, Sonia said:

And, we both can honestly say that had we followed the directions of local doctors/dentists here at Lakeside, my wife and I would more than likely both be dead. We are not the only ones that can make that statement about treatment here.

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There are good and bad Doctors everywhere. And some countries have more bad ones than others.  I only know that I am a snowbird and live in Mexico now almost 8.5 months per year. What I have learned is that the best way to find a dentist or Doctor lakeside is to find a retired expat who is a Doc or Dentist and ask him who he would recommend.

Maybe I have been lucky but so far I have found the medical service here equal to what I have been receiving up north, The only difference is, it takes much less time to make an appointment lakeside and the costs are much less.

The only problem I haven't addressed, which is my fault, is to get Mexican health insurance.

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Although I don't doubt the validity of the 2017 survey above, it is waaaay off from what I experience in a Northern Colorado city of 160,000 where I live full time.

I could see a cardiologist in less than 10 days; I could see my PCP for routine care in the same amount of time and within 1-2 days with him or an associate for 'semi-emergency'; my wife just saw a busy dermatologist in  less than a week (they first said 30 days but she complained and they said, OK.)

 

 

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In late 2014 we were new patients in a new state and yes, the wait for the first routine visit with a family practitioner (generalist) was several weeks.  However, while I was awaiting an appointment, I had an issue.  Went to an Urgent Care center and afterward, when I called the same doctor I was waiting to see for my first routine appointment and explained I had been to Urgent Care and needed follow-up, they saw me in a few days.  As an existing patient, doctors usually see us in a few days.  

Yes we have waited a few weeks to meet our new specialists, too, but we rarely wait more than a few days to see a specialist if  our primary care physician refers us.  

I do think the office waiting rooms are more crowded since Obama care started (we were living in MX when it began) as a lot more people got healthcare and many of these had medical issues for years that they could not afford to get treated.  Pent-up demand, but it seems to have evened out in the past year, at least with doctors I see.

I had a few medical 'scares' where I was directed to see top-notch specialists (including the head of a department at a university medical school) within a day or two.  One super-specialist handled  certain cases for the all the Western states and did not take my insurance.  My primary care physician negotiated a low fee for me, so I could see the specialist.  

There is and has always been triage in medical needs in the US and I suppose in other countries.  

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We get all of our medical care here.  We can see any of our Drs. in day or two, or in case of urgent need, same day.  I can't imagine having to travel NOB for medical care.  A question for those of you that do:  what will you do in case of an emergency?  You have no local or guad Docs, no one knows your medical history?    What's the plan?  Hope?

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Me, I love the fact that if I have a serious need, I can call my local doctor here in the Chapala area, explain my problem, and be seen the same day. I see my GP and my heart doctor once a year. I am also registered with doctors in Arizona, where I maintain a US foothold and am covered by Medicare, Medicare Supplement and Prescription drug plans. My son is in Arizona, so I would return there for care if I had the time to do so. Here, I maintain IMSS and private catastrophic health coverage, so if I have a crisis that needs immediate attention, I do have coverage here.

Newcomers please note: the older you get, the harder it is to buy health insurance. Buy it when you move here!!! The concept of health insurance is that you buy it when you DON'T need it; if you wait until you need it, you may not qualify.

Do get registered with a doctor and put the doctor's phone number on the frig and by your bedside phone. And don't forget: step one in an emergency is to call the doctor; step 2 is to call for an ambulance (the doctor will do that); step 3 is to unlock the bars on the front door;)

BTW, I send a morning email to 5 friends who live alone--they email me back. If someone does not email (or call, in the event of an internet outage), we will call their neighbors and/or go to their house. When there is an internet outage, we phone. This is particularly important if you live alone.

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14 minutes ago, JayBearII said:

BTW, I send a morning email to 5 friends who live alone--they email me back. If someone does not email (or call, in the event of an internet outage), we will call their neighbors and/or go to their house. When there is an internet outage, we phone. This is particularly important if you live alone.

This is an absolute must for those on their own. I also found out about Siri who I can call out to dial a friend (who has keys) if I can't physically get to my cell phone.

 

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Here is my very recent experience with local healthcare.  I went to see a GP for a checkup for the first time in about six years. Everything was perfect except when she listened to my heart.  She heard some pauses that were not normal and told me to see the Cardio doc asap.  I was not having any symptoms. Got an appointment the next day and he did further EKG testing and had me go to his office at Del Carmen hospital the following day.  I had severe arrhythmia  and he even cut short the stress test out of concern for my safety.  He wanted to schedule a procedure for the next day and when I told him I had Seguro Popular he strongly advised against the waiting that would probably occur.  He then offered to do the operation at Los Jardines hospital which he said was just as sophisticated but much cheaper and if we had to put it on a credit card he would wave the normal 3% surcharge for us.  So less than three days after seeing my first doc I was on the table where an amazing team of caring pros inserted a stent into what was an almost completely blocked "widow maker" artery.  They went in painlessly through my wrist and I watched the whole thing live on a large monitor.   While they worked they told me what they were doing and asked about and monitored my well being constantly.  My wife stayed in the room with me overnight in what was a nicer place than many hotel rooms I've stayed in.  The hospital staff checked on me all through the night and always told me what they were doing.  Early the next morning the cardiologist came in and checked everything and announced that I was going to be fine.  He was going to have his office assistant come in with the bill but first he was personally going to review it to make sure the hospital didn't overcharge us for anything.  Four days later I saw him in his Ajijic office where he refused to bill us for that visit.  All of this cost us about 7,500 dollars.  That is about 3,000 less than our deductible was last time we had insurance.  Plus we have not been paying 850 per month for crappy coverage for the last five years.  I'm sure the US bill would have been ten times that high for the operation and then our rates would have gone up and under Trumpcare I would now have a preexisting condition.  I'm happy where we are and happy to be here at all.  Thank you local docs. Alan

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Glad you are doing well Alan.  Those are very reasonable costs even for a stent here.  

Small factual correction here, proposed changes to the ACA do not change the coverage of pre-existing conditions.  As your post clearly shows, the problem up there is runaway costs which the ACA did not address in any substantive manner at all.  Hence you didn't get to keep your doctor and insurance costs didn't go down, they skyrocketed.  And continue to do so.

All as predicted by those who actually did read the legislation rather than wait until it was passed to find out what was in it.

Since you follow the news no doubt you know the consensus is that what you refer to as "TrumpCare" isn't going to happen anyway at least for the foreseeable future.  Nothing has been passed to repeal or supersede the ACA.

As it stands now with most of the insurers backing out of it and the remaining ones raising premiums and deductibles by double digit percentages to the point of making the insurance worthless for the average person, the ACA is probably going to collapse within a year or so anyway.  

Almost all of the new enrollment of previously uninsured came under medicaid and the legislation shifts the costs to state budgets in the out years.  Consequently, states are finding they can't afford it either and are cutting back on it.  So even the "free" care is running out of money.

As is Medicare.  That one may end up affecting us in the end.

We haven't been as lucky as you, just in the last 3 years we've laid out $25K for uninsured major medical operations and hospitalizations.  True that sum was far less than it would have been NOB but there we have insurance. 

The point of all this is that anyone moving here needs to really plan for medical needs and younger expats definitely should get insurance upon arrival so that it will hopefully be available in later years.  We should have done that 9 years ago but didn't really think medical through and plan ahead.

As I've noted before, my impression is that the two biggest reasons people leave here and return to the U.S. or Canada is health care or desire to be closer to family.  

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Each person needs to be confident in their selection of medical advice and procedures. What works and makes one happy is many times not the same for others. No one should be "put down": or "chastised" for a choice or experience that works for them that is different from someone else. (why am I hearing that type of statement so much now-a-days?) There is no "one size fits all" in anything in life. Be happy for the other person if they are happy with their choice. 

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Barrbower , 3 years ago the same thing happened to my husband and the cardiologist offered to drive my husband to Guadalajara on a Saturday to get a pacemaler. We said no thanks, on that Monday  we saw two different heart specialists at Puerto de Hierro and they both said no pacemaker was necessary  and some electric shocks to the heart  was what was needed, we went for it  and 3 years later my husband´s heart is still fine.. Lots of sugery and pacemakers are done that are not necessary.. Hopefully yours was..

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14 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

We haven't experienced anything like this when needing medical care in Texas using Medicare and supplemental.

 

The study said these were averages, the link shows 20 cities of various sizes including Dallas Tx which is better than many others in wait times. check it out. I just postted it for information. I go to San Antonio and always make appointments 6-8 weeks ahead and my only problem is I am through there at Christmas and they take time off of course..

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4 hours ago, geeser said:

The study said these were averages, the link shows 20 cities of various sizes including Dallas Tx which is better than many others in wait times. check it out. I just postted it for information. I go to San Antonio and always make appointments 6-8 weeks ahead and my only problem is I am through there at Christmas and they take time off of course..

How FUNNY !!! The OP uses San Antonio, TX doctors ! Yet, what a great reason to be happy we live at Lakeside. Hilarious ! :D

 

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6 hours ago, bmh said:

Barrbower , 3 years ago the same thing happened to my husband and the cardiologist offered to drive my husband to Guadalajara on a Saturday to get a pacemaler. We said no thanks, on that Monday  we saw two different heart specialists at Puerto de Hierro and they both said no pacemaker was necessary  and some electric shocks to the heart  was what was needed, we went for it  and 3 years later my husband´s heart is still fine.. Lots of sugery and pacemakers are done that are not necessary.. Hopefully yours was..

Things like this and worse is why we use NOB doctors, clinics, hospitals for our medical care. We have NEVER been led astray there in our home area. Not true in areas of Mexico. When (if) our health gets to that point where we need constant health supervision, we will no longer travel to Mexico. Until then, we enjoy the Mexico climate 6 months a year, as in those months, it is better than our home area NOB. YMMD, and we are extremely happy for you and respect your choice.

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We have had limited interaction with MXN medical system over the 5+ years we've lived here overall.  It was mostly positive, especially with specialists from Guadalajara associated with Mascaras (ortho and cardiology).  

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7 minutes ago, bmh said:

This can happen anywhere in the world and this is why you have to be very involved with your treatments, options and doctors,  

Unecessary surgeries are done all over the world where people can afford them 

I can only speak from my PERSONAL experiences and those of my wife. We have NEVER experienced any of that in our lifetime together NOB in our home area. I can't speak for anywhere in the world. What happens in France, for example, has no bearing on our health care decisions. Neither does Chicago, New York, California, etc.. YMMD.

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