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Purchasing Health Care in Cozumel


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#1 Emma S.

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 10:52 AM

If a US citizen wants to live in Cozumel, how would he/she obtain a psychiatric health care provider on the island who also speaks English? Yes, I'm speaking about myself, however, I'd like to provide info for all health care questions. I'm considering moving to Cozumel to teach English for a month while learning Spanish for about a month. By September, I'll have Blue Cross insurance (I'm at least lucky to have something in the US!). I don't think it covers me in Cozumel but even if it does, I'm thinking I'd rather go with Mexican insurance. Does anyone know of an English speaking psychiatrist in the Cozumel area or the closest doctor on the mainland? I don't even know where to begin looking or what the rates might be.
Thanks much! Muchas gracias!
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#2 Emma S.

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 10:54 AM

If you'd like to answer this in private, please email me at emmatgreat@yahoo.com. However, I will provide doctor info on this site for others while using my user ID, unless you're uncomfortable with that.
Thanks!
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#3 Carey

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 02:43 PM

Yes, if you find out the names of any psychiatrists who speak English, do post. I'm not aware of any. You are prolly going to have to search as far as Cancun for that.

You should know, however, that there are many name brand drugs available for sale at the drugstores here that do not require prescriptions. This includes most if not all of the major anti-depressants, thyroid meds, epilepsy meds, muscle relaxants. Pretty much the only drugs you can't buy yourself without a prescription are the narcotics like valium and codeine and etc.

So if this is what you need the doc for, you might not need to find one. Sometimes the drugs are sold here under a different name but many times they are not. Prices are often but no always less than in the states.

The San Miguel clinic on Calle 6 between AVenida 5 and Avenida 10 is most locals med clinic of choice and they do take Blue Cross if I'm not mistaken. However, you may be shocked at how low the prices are by comparison to what you'll pay in the states. And how quickly you can get an appointment.
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#4 dawnb

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 02:58 PM

If it is mental health services other than medication that you need, would a psychologist, psychiatric social worker, or counselor do? Those may be more readily available. Also, there may be English speaking pastors, priests, or rabbis available? Not sure, but the local hospital or clinic might be a source of referral. I am thinking the word psychiatrist is similar in Spanish. They may have a translator available, or you could hire your own.
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#5 Kandy

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 05:42 PM

OK, here's a related question since I'm moving here in December. I have been a licensed psychologist in Texas for many years (1992). The license has to be renewed annually and is not inexpensive, especially when you add to it the cost of liability insurance. I chose to retire my license effective 11 days ago since I'm moving here. Does anyone know about any regulations related to the practice of psychology in Mexico? I'll do a search, but it seems someone always has an answer here.Posted Image
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#6 dawnb

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 05:58 PM

Hmm. I am a practicing school psychologist, have been since 1983. Maybe when I retire we can have a practice and hang out a shingle! (In English.)
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#7 Carey

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 06:36 PM

I know if you're not Mexican and a medical professional, you absolutely cannot work in any Mexican clinic or hospital. However, you might be able to set up your own business. There are two American chiropractors that have businesses on the island, for example. I don't know how psychology would be classified.

Certainly, a case could be made that English as a first language would be an important asset for someone dealing with mood disorders and the like. But whether that's the way the code is written or not is another story. Wait awhile and I expect someone will at least give you a lead on this.

Do be aware that locals are not used to paying US prices for doctor's visits. You might get away with charging $400 pesos for an hour session but lower would be better.
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#8 DocVikingo

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 09:13 AM

If you need psychiatric services (servicios psiquiátricos) beyond just medication (medicación), locating an English speaking psychiatrist (psiquiatra) in CZM who is available on a regular basis may not be easy.

Here’s a few contact points to begin the task:

Asociación Psiquiatrica Mexicana (Mexican Psychiatric Association)
Periférico Sur 4194, 1er Piso
Jardines del Pedregal
CP 01900 DF
México
+52/5652-5576
+52/5652-5586
+52/5652-5516 fax
apm@psiquiatras.com

El Centro Médico de Cozumel (CMC)
(987) 872-9400
frontdeskcozumel@costamed.com.mx

Centro de Rehabilitation Integral Cozumel (CRIC)
39 Av.sur Manzana 10; (987)857-2490/(987)857-2492.

Dr. Maria Isabel Saenger Kuthy; Cerrada de Miramar Pte. No. 7 Miramar; Súper Manzana 15; Cancun; (998) 884-2950/(998)887-7778; ikuthy@caribe.net.mx


Regards,

DocVikingo
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#9 Coz2wonder

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 11:59 AM

does anyone know what US health insurance is accepted here? Or, will be reimbursed?

I do know that you can purchase name brand health insurance here, Like Metlife, but never went any further to find out that.

When I did work here, I was entitled to go to the public hospital...

It is not that the public health system is bad here (I only tried it twice), it was just not my cup of cool-aide.

I could not communicate within the 5 to 7 min's allocated, and had no idea what the script was that the doctor gave me, and for what?

Free is okay, but managing your health care is more important.
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#10 Carey

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:31 PM

does anyone know what US health insurance is accepted here? Or, will be reimbursed?

I do know that you can purchase name brand health insurance here, Like Metlife, but never went any further to find out that.

When I did work here, I was entitled to go to the public hospital...

It is not that the public health system is bad here (I only tried it twice), it was just not my cup of cool-aide.

I could not communicate within the 5 to 7 min's allocated, and had no idea what the script was that the doctor gave me, and for what?

Free is okay, but managing your health care is more important.


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#11 Carey

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:38 PM

Actually, my Mayan housekeeper, who makes a pretty good wage compared to many people here, I expect, doesn't use the public hospital. No one uses it it who can afford something better is the consensus I'm getting.

If you want to try a good, inexpensive clinic with a really nice doc but no bells or whistles re fancy equipment, etc., consider Clinica Villaneuva which is less than 1/2 block from Clinica San Miguel. One door in from the corner of Avenida 10 and Calle 6. Painted yellow. Dr. Villaneuva is very nice, very good. Speaks a little English but not a huge amount.

I went there on the rec. of local friends when a nasty little brute with the unlikely name of Pinky bit my heel really hard while I was waiting for a seamstress to come into her shop. I guess I was invading Pinky's territory without the mistress being around. Went in to get a tetanus shot and check if there was any chance rabies could be an issue. (It's not. No rabies on Cozumel and apparently never has been.) Anyway, they fixed me right up, cleaned it really good and assuaged my fears that Pinky could possible be rabid. However, they didn't have the tetanus serum in stock so I had to go and buy it around the corner at the San Miguel for $200 pesos and bring it back to them to get shot up (since I'd already paid them for this.)

Despite me making it sound like a hicky little place, the staff is very caring and good and the price is such that many local ex pats who have been here a long time make that their first choice for many procedures.

I believe I read that Blue Cross was accepted at San Miguel Clinic.
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#12 Charles

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 10:27 PM

CMC may take some U.S. insurance based upon their affiliation with the Miami hospital. They would probably be able to code procedures correctly to validate U.S. prices. If you had a co-payment portion, the out-of-pocket might be higher with insurance than using normal priced options and just paying for it.

Generally I'd feel more confident receiving Mexican health care than I would U.S. care which I could never afford.

IMSS, Mexican Social Security is simply not a viable option. In emergencies, life or death situations you might receive treatment from among the best specialists on the island (physicians that have their own practice, but assist when needed at IMSS. In some locations (not Cozumel) IMSS does provide quality care. It would be unlikely to live long enough to jump through all the hoops to gain transfer to first class facilities in Mexico City or other major cities where cancer treatments, even organ transplants might be performed.

When I had an adventure in health with IMSS where I was required to go through the motions to maintain my FM3 status, the doctors might write a prescription for whatever medicine they might have in stock, on the back they would write the name of a better drug to purchase and then the best drug and most expensive. This might help, buy this if you can, but if you can afford it, this is the preferred medicine.

There are people that buy IMSS coverage and are able to get meds eventually for chronic conditions.

The best general recommendation might be Clinica San Miguel, but in some instances they are close to CMC pricing for some people, some times. I couldn't recommend Clinica Villanueva for the average person that lacked Spanish skills and were unfamiliar with just how health care works in Mexico. I was very, very satisfied with Villanueva when the wife was hospitalized for five days, but many might feel bewildered, while I felt very confident. I liked the smallness, how I could walk in the door and even the cleaning woman would give me updates. It was very competent, very personalized, but maybe not for everyone.

That was the same "beast" that had tried to attack me on the street a block from his home. Had I been coming back from baseball pratice or with a golf club, Pinky would have had no teeth when you came along Carey.
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