We provide life-changing and life-saving medical help. We have a solid relationship with private hospitals in Mexico, where we receive discounts. We also have a relationships that enable us to provide half-price transportation to hospitals in other Mexican cities.
Although everyone is covered by Meixco's health insurance, the degrees of coverage (what is covered and what is not covered) is a challenge.
Understanding medical insurance in Mexico is not simple, but not as complicated as understand the medical insurance in the United States.
Everyone is covered by medical insurance in Mexico and people can purchase additional insurance.
The level of care that is covered is based on a person's income. The poor have relatively little coverage and can only receive free care at specific hospitals.
Hospitals for the poor do not have doctors available 24/7. When admitted to those hospitals, patients depend on family members and friends to stay with them because there are very few nurses. It is almost a necessity to have a family member or a friend to stay in the room.
Coverage does not include expensive drugs. We know of amputations (that are covered) which could have been avoided with medication.
Doctors working in private hospitals do volunteer work at the hospitals for the poor. Patients are sometimes lucky enough to have these volunteer surgeons provide surgery.
These hospitals cannot perform an MRI. During a hospital visit, we met a child and an adult rape victim. Both had serious head injuries. We agreed to have them seen at a nearby private hospital for an MRI and were shocked to hear the nurses asking each-other if anyone had a pickup truck that could transport these two people to the private hospital! We learned that there were only two ambulances in the entire city and that they would not transport patients to another hospital.
Parents that give birth to a child and a doctor recognizes the signs of Down syndrome autism are often not told about their child's condition. I met more than one mother that told me a nurse mentioned that their baby was a Down syndrome baby and when the mother asked what that meant, the nurse simply said that the baby would be 'retarded.'
On the other hand, many treatments are relatively inexpensive for all Mexicans. For example, purchasing chemotherapy costs the equivalent of $50. However, the weekly take-home pay for many of the poor is between $60 and $90. Since the closest hospitals that provide treatments for cancer require bus tickets for the mother and child that cost a total of $300, children are dying.
The cause of death should not be listed as 'cancer' but should be listed as 'lack of a few hundred dollars'.
We have a simple process for helping children with medical situations. First, we consider the medical need. What happens if we do not step up? How serious is the situation? Next, we consider the cost. Some treatments are far beyond our ability. (Thankfully, most are within our budget). We then determine how fast we need to act. Often, parents are told to immediately take their child to the private hospital in Acuna for an evaluation or treatment.
Sometimes medical care required food. Children sick from chemotherapy need more vegetables and proteing in their diets, so we provide groceries.