Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hospital Angeles de Queretaro - Part 2

I saw the doctor last week and now it was time for tests at the Hospital Angeles de Queretaro. But rather than writing about "my test" I'd like to write about the hospital and compare it to my hospital experiences in the USA.

We arrived at the appointed time and filled out about one-half page of paperwork and signed two forms. In the States you usually have to pre-register and fill out pages and pages of information and sign many documents.

The initial examination room looked the same with sliding curtains and a gurney although this one didn't have much padding. There was a plastic bag for my clothes...just like in the States. The hospital gown was the usual kind that leaves the backside flapping in the wind. They did not take vital signs like temperature and blood pressure.

The nurse did not introduce herself and say that she would be taking care of me. The nurse did not speak any English and when asked to repeat something she repeated it louder and faster. As a regular reader you know that my Spanish is poor and Ned's is pretty good but his Spanish vocabulary isn't too good on medical terms. She used the word "estudio" for test. I looked up estudio and I can find a reference to estudio de mercado which means market research. So I assume that "estudio" in this instance means medical tests. In many places in the United States there would a translator available.

There was just one sheet to cover up with. In the States the last few times I have had any testing or procedures done, I've been covered with warmed blankets. I had not been given a identification bracelet to wear and they did not repeatedly ask my name and check the bracelet as I went from person to person during the procedure.

In the room where the procedure was to take place, there was a doctor who spoke English but he did not introduce himself either. I asked if he was the anesthesiologist and he said yes. He asked me questions about medications and allergies, weight, etc. This room was ringed with cabinets and equipment and the ceiling was hung with bright "operating room" lights. Another young man came in to set up equipment that would be used during the test and the anesthesiologist told him my name to write on something that I couldn't see. The doctor came in and told me the procedure would be underway soon.

The next thing I knew the anesthesiologist told me the test was over and everything was fine. In a few minutes the nurse came back in, took out the IV, Ned came in and I got dressed. They brought a wheelchair to roll me out to the car and we were on our way.

Oh, another thing that you might want to know is that the cost of the procedure for both hospital and doctor in Houston was $2800. In Angeles, the total cost was about $1000.

This report may sound negative but I didn't have a bad experience yesterday. It is just that things are different in Mexico. And of course, I'm comparing my experiences from Houston's gigantic world class Texas Medical Center where besides many hospitals and medical schools there are numerous clinics that specialize in single procedures like cataract surgery or colonoscopies. We have friends who have had major abdominal surgery or orthopedic surgeries in Hospital de Angeles and they have been very pleased with the care they received from their doctors and the hospital staff.

The bottom-line. The hospital was clean, people seemed to be well trained and efficient but just as in most things in Mexico, you are responsible for yourself. You will need to ask for some services such as having your blood pressure taken. If you are unable to watch what is being done then you need a friend or family member to be your advocate. You need to speak Spanish or have someone with you who can speak Spanish. But it is good to know that in an emergency that Hospital de Angeles is just an hour away.


wayne said...

Whatever it may be, we are all cheering for you. Get well soon or be well or just don't be sick! Your friends care and we are glad you are doing fine. Shoot, I am messing this up but just want to let you know that we are there for you.

Anonymous said...

Why gringos always complain about other countries not speaking english or worse "american" Mexico is a spanish speaking country, and as such you need to know spanish to live there, just like people in the USA are demanding people from other countries to speak english.

Brenda said...

Glad things went well. Thanks for the comparison.

Anonymous said...

Your care seemed fine. When I was in San Miguel people were praising the health care. Much more affordable, prescriptions are about half of what US citizens pay and the doctors even make house calls.

Billie said...

Anon....I'm not "complaining" about the hospital personnel not speaking English, I'm stating facts so that someone who goes to this hospital will know what to expect. And the reality is, if you need to go to a hospital or doctor and you don't speak Spanish you may need someone to go along with you to help. And yes, I agree that those of us who live here should learn to speak Spanish.