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Eric Blair

Should I stay here or go to California?

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I will be 80 in May, 2019. I had a colonoscopy about 12-13 yers ago and it was clean, but I'm thinking for safety I should get another. As to my question, here are my thoughts/concerns.

I worry about getting it here as there is no real accountability as to doctors in Mexico. Someone screws up and basically the apologize for the inconvenience. The U.S. is different with accountability.

For me, and I think for most people, communication with the doctor is important. I want to be able to ask questions and get answers in English. I know that there can be great doctors who speak no English, but it's a psychological thing with me.

Also, if I go NOB, I will be at a Hotel/Motel or Airbnb home, and I know the pre-procedre isn't fun.I have to go to California anyway for a business matter and I don't want to possibly be sidelined if there are issues.

Looking for thoughts, especially from anyone who has had the experience here. Recommendations.

$$ isn't a factor.

Thanks.

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I hesitated about responding to your post because I'm sure there will be a series of posts following with horror stories about Mexican medical care which will scare you into more doubts than you have already.  However, I've had such good experiences with it that I'll offer something on the positive side of the issue. 

I've been an expat from California in Mexico nearly 15 years and have had a number of medical issues over that time period, including two serious but successful surgeries. I've had doctors who spoke fluent English.  If you want a recommendation for a good English speaking G.P., I'd be glad to give you one if you PM me. There is at least one medical group that caters to the expat community: Quality Care in the large mall, with a number of specialists.  Many posters on here have recommended it.

 As far as accountability is concerned,  it does us no real good to know that we can sue the doctor or hospital where mistakes are made, since we are stuck with the physical result and money cannot replace whatever damage was done.  However, worry isn't good for your health and if you feel more comfortable with medical care in the U.S. (which is far down from #1 on the world measurement of care) then you should probably return to CA for your peace of mind.

 

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If you are in California and can afford it there, get the procedure there. Why not? Communication is easier and they are more accountable. 

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Ask Google about colonoscopies after age 75, or even 70. 

But if you decide to move forward with this, the very fact that you are asking this question, as well as the way you have written the question, should provide you with the answer.  You want to go to California and, therefore, that is what you should do. If you have the procedure and follow up is required that can be done in California or here.

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The decision is ultimately yours.  I had a colonoscopy under the care of Dr. Hector Valenzuela who is at Quality Care.  Wonderful, caring physician who speaks English fluently.  No problems with the procedure and it is quick.  Out patient- easy.

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12 minutes ago, mexjerry said:

You may want to explore alternatives, that are not invasive, some are accomplished at home, but you should check with a doctor.

Good suggestion.  The OP didn't say, but is it worth going through the procedure if you're not symptomatic?

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One could get the thing done here with the instructions to not proceed should the worst be found and then if so, go to the US for the correction.

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Eric, I think you are a bit of a pessimist. Think young! You have 11 months to go before you are 80.

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Just had this done six weeks ago by daniel briseno quality care.i stayed in a hotel close to the clininc night before.

They eventually discovered i had cancer and i took a recommendation to use a non lakeside sugeon who has removed the tumor. Spanish only.

10days in hospital. Operating theatre fees. Meds and doctor.

Appx 220,000 pesos

5 hour operation and blood transfusion.

Think colonscopy was around 7000 pesos.

Agree with above unless you have symptoms why bother?

I did for six months and all thought it was ibs.i got lucky.

Pm me if you need more info.

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I am not sure what medical coverage you have. But check out this web site for folks with no medical coverage...timelymedicalalternatives

There are many medical Brokers who are available and Canadians who want quick fixes use them with great satisfaction, as do USA people without insurance etc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by lakeside7
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I'm just wondering how valuable any advice you might get on this chat board would be to you?  You pose a medical question and then ask it of mainly non-medical people.  For what little it's worth, and a non-medical opinion for sure, if you don't trust the Mexican medical system then don't use it. Then, as Al said, decide if at your age this test is really worth having, and if you answer yes, get it done in California.  Just realize that if all goes well with the test there, you will feel vindicated in your choice.  If not, you will second guess yourself for choosing the way you did.  The same is true if you choose to have it done here.  Best of luck whatever you choose.

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This idea of accountability is part of the reason that the US medical system is in a mess. Doctor's mal-practice issurance is so high.

Concerning the comments about trust, after attending my brother-in-law's retirement party last night at the IMSS hospital, I am not going comment or I would be banned for life from here.

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My father lived to be 97 , his philosophy to avoid any tests in unnecessary. why take the risk. he felt he would be putting his body at risk of a colonoscopy complications

 he was a prudent man. so he never had one. his body his choice.

he could afford all of those tests,had great medical insurance and cash on hand

he also avoided see doctors if unnecessary ,every time he went he said they found something wrong with him or scared with some diagnosis

or  they told what disease he could have in the future due to genetics of what his relatives died of.

he felt more people died of the word cancer than the disease.

also he felt second opinions where also necessary.  he avoided many surgeries and tests with a second opinion

yes he did get colon cancer at age 96,  and died of it a year later at 97. after six days in the hospital, lived by himself  just before he was admitted to hospital.

He always said its ok to age , but you do have to get old while you age.

 

I go to Dr Jessica Quintella when necessary, very prudent Doctor and very smart, better than any Dr  I met in the States, actually cares about you and listens

 

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I have also found that the care and attention to detail was superior to that in the USA, where I feel like "just another number" and no appointment lasts over 15 minutes.

Look at it this way: An MD in Mexico will soon be out of business if he makes mistakes, or is dishonest.  In the USA, they have expensive insurance and lawyers to defend themselves against your claims. You pay for that, too!

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Good point, RV.  The cost of malpractice insurance is so high that I suspect some procedures are encouraged which are not actually necessary in order to bring enough money into the  group practice in order to pay for it.  Awful thought, I know, but there it is.  In Mexico, reputation is so important that it, in itself creates "accountability" of the highest order. 

However, my impression from the OP's post is that underneath it all, he wants to return to CA in general, and if that's the case, the medical issue is actually secondary. I wish him the best of luck on whatever he decides to do.

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57 minutes ago, Tiny said:

This idea of accountability is part of the reason that the US medical system is in a mess. Doctor's mal-practice issurance is so high.

Concerning the comments about trust, after attending my brother-in-law's retirement party last night at the IMSS hospital, I am not going comment or I would be banned for life from here.

Aw, c'mon Tiny.........my curiosity is suffering.  At least tell us whether your impression was positive towards IMSS or negative.

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California.

Some expats have convinced themselves Mexico is just as, if not better, than the US. As we get older every test, procedure or health concern should to be addressed as a priority by patient, a board certified physician, knowledgeable staff (competent and certified) and cutting edge technology. Not word of mouth or haggling at the local market. 

Yes costs in the US are outrageous!  Fortunately, if it’s covered by insurance the out of pocket copay is negligible. In Mexico unless you have INSS you’re paying cash. 

In the US, patients have rights. Physicians have a responsibility. And if you are concerned about the direction your care is going you can always review policy and protocol, there’s always recourse. 

Of course there’s some outstanding Mexican physicians. However, a physician is only part of a healthcare team. 

Just curious what the verdict is on nursing. 

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Bajabrady:  " Not word of mouth or haggling at the local market." 

That statement is very condescending.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing real life medical experiences with other people who are trying to locate the best doctor for their purposes: especially negative experiences.  These should be taken for what they are:  one person's experience, filtered through their personality.  Obviously,  we should do our own research on the web re the doctor's education and background.

As a minor issue in that U.S. experience, the patient gets to sit on a chair or table wearing practically nothing and endure a considerable wait for the doctor, who often glances fairly frequently at his/her watch.  In Mexico, the patient gets to keep his or her clothes on for most visits along with his/her dignity and the doctor takes whatever time is needed to get the story without acting rushed.  Usually, the doctor doesn't have the God attitude, either; a nice bonus.

BTW, there are two lower cost options in Mexico:  IMSS and Seguro Popular.  The former has restrictions; the latter takes people with pre-existing conditions.  In addition, it is possible to pay out of pocket without going broke; unheard of in the States.


 

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28 minutes ago, gringal said:

Bajabrady:  " Not word of mouth or haggling at the local market." 

That statement is very condescending.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing real life medical experiences with other people who are trying to locate the best doctor for their purposes: especially negative experiences.  These should be taken for what they are:  one person's experience, filtered through their personality.  Obviously,  we should do our own research on the web re the doctor's education and background.

As a minor issue in that U.S. experience, the patient gets to sit on a chair or table wearing practically nothing and endure a considerable wait for the doctor, who often glances fairly frequently at his/her watch.  In Mexico, the patient gets to keep his or her clothes on for most visits along with his/her dignity and the doctor takes whatever time is needed to get the story without acting rushed.  Usually, the doctor doesn't have the God attitude, either; a nice bonus.

BTW, there are two lower cost options in Mexico:  IMSS and Seguro Popular.  The former has restrictions; the latter takes people with pre-existing conditions.  In addition, it is possible to pay out of pocket without going broke; unheard of in the States.


 

But ....one of the reasons the US system is broken and expensive is it provides care for "Poor" uninsured people...so those people are already "Broke"

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1 minute ago, lakeside7 said:

But ....one of the reasons the US system is broken and expensive is it provides care for "Poor" uninsured people...

I believe that it is called compassion for humanity. Too bad that the US is the ONLY industrialized country where medical care is not a human right.

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12 minutes ago, lakeside7 said:

But ....one of the reasons the US system is broken and expensive is it provides care for "Poor" uninsured people...so those people are already "Broke"

You better come up with better reasons than that. I totally agree with Angus.

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This might be helpful - there a prescreening test called fecal occult. It has five tabs, then a very small fecal sample, daily for five days. Then you turn it over to a lab, and they see if can find any blood, even microscopic. In British Columbia they require this test before sending you in for a free colonoscopy.There are also new tests, especially genetic markers, are booming right now. I don't know if they offer this in Mexico, they certainly should.

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The test is called Fecal Occult Blood. On the other hand, if you're seeing fresh blood in a stool sample it should be obvious but also could be the result of hemorrhoids. If the stool is black and tarry looking then it is old blood from further up but could also be from a stomach ulcer. I dunno. I have made my thoughts very clear on the limitations of colonoscopies on this forum because, even if you have both an endoscopy and a colonoscopy, there is still a very large portion of the intestinal tract that cannot be seen because of the limitations of the length of the tube. Fire away Angus.

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1 minute ago, Ferret said:

Fire away Angus.

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I won't if you post your medical credentials.

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