Saturday, June 02, 2007

The $100,000 Toilet Paper Roll

This story about air ambulances from the hometown paper is a couple of weeks old, but I didn't see it when it first ran. Turns out, since every gringo knows every other gringo, the sick woman in the story is someone I've met a couple of times. I've never met her son, but I feel compelled to defend Mexican medicine against this kind of slander:

he was horrified when he saw the hospital. “The doctors were excellent,” he said, “but the sanitary conditions were not good.” Visitors slept on the hospital floors, the intensive care unit had only one sink and the bathrooms had no toilet paper, he said.
Now,we've come to know a thing or two about Mexican hospitals and I've been told by people who have been there that the one in Morelia is just fine, thank you, and exhibit A would probably be the way they literally saved this woman's life. The visitors quarters may not have been quite up to snuff, but as the article mentions, the total cost for more than a weeklong stay, plus major surgery, was a whopping eight grand. Junior decides to blow $21,000 to fly her back north, where - the article doesn't mention this - she's been in a private American hospital ever since. Anyone care to guess what a six-week stay in a private hospital costs in the US? I'm sure there's toilet paper in the bathroom, of course - you'll be able to see it right there on the bill.

I know Americans hear over and over again that we have the best healthcare system in the world, but it always amazes me how many people actually believe it.

1 comment:

Jorge Arturo said...

I think that his mom was in a public hospital, and since she doesn't have a mexican insurance IMSS it was probably the General Hospital of the city, the one that is charged acording to your posibilites, in many cases, free.

In this hospitals people is not allow to stay in the patient's room so they have to stay somewhere else, many choose to stay in the lobby (on the floor), I think he could save A LOT of money if he just move her to a better hospital, a private one, like the Angeles (like the one you stayed)