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Seguro Popular vs IMSS

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Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Trailrunner on Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:04 am

Yesterday afternoon I went to Cruz Roja Chapala for a meeting in the clinic with the doc. When I walked in it was very apparent the atmosphere was grim.

The only patient was a large middle aged Mexican man who had fallen about 15 feet and totally demolished his knee and broken the lower leg as well. His knee was impressive and he was still bleeding some from the open damage. He was in excruciating pain! Let me repeat that, he was in excruciating pain. On the pain scale - 10 being the worst pain you're ever had like childbirth - how would you rate this pain you're having now? He said when he arrived several hours ago it was 200. And now? 100. CR does not have morphine he was given repeatedly IV pain meds but they're were barely scratching the surface. He got the best pain meds we had and as often as possible.

Why was he still on the bed in CR after all these hours and not in surgery in hospital in Guad? Because he had no insurance besides Seguro Popular and as the doc said, it's as good as none in this situation.

You see, when a pt needs to be transferred to hospital Civil in Guadalajara, no matter the severity, there has to be a bed available for that patient or the doc is denied the all-important authorization number for transfer by ambulance! This was the case with this gentleman. Our doc called numerous times with updates and for the authorization number but was denied each time and told to wait for them to call back when they had a bed. How long could that be? Five minutes or five hours - or more. No way of knowing. AND, they will not accept an ambulance without this number. No matter what!

Our strategy then was to give them 15 more minutes and if they didn't call back with the code number we would load him in his brothers van and he and the patient's wife would drive him to Hospital Civil hoping they would accept him. No need for a authorization code by private vehicle.

The van was readied for transport and after 15 minutes we loaded this poor suffering patient into the back of his brothers van and slid him off our backboard and they left. By now, his condition had deteriorated some.

This is how the system works and everyone needs to know this.

NOW, I've seen this happen more times than I care to remember, it is frustrating and hearbreaking, and sometimes deadly. It is what it is.

So, I asked over and over. . .what if he had had IMSS? Answer. . .he would be in the OR by now!!! What if he had private insurance? He would be in the OR by now!

So those of you who are thinking of giving up IMSS for SP, DON'T DO IT!
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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by gringal on Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:21 am

Nothing like hearing it told like it is! Thanks for that. It's a heads up for people who are, basically, choosing "free" care. I've known doctors who interned at U.S. County Hospitals, and it was multiple sad stories, and sometimes a nightmare. You get what's available, and sometimes it's not enough and not soon enough. Same deal here.

I've said it before, and will it repeat again till you're all bored silly: Before moving to Mexico, get your act together and figure out what you're going to do about illness and/or accident when you get here. There is no palatable free lunch. Seguro Popular is for the poor, and you know how the poor get treated in general. Sad, but such is Life.
If you didn't, think about the issue. If you can't take care of your medical needs on your own, with private insurance or even (hopefully) IMSS, you might be wise to think about returning to the U.S. if you're eligible for Medicare. Nobody needs a Mexican tragedy in life.

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by E-raq on Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:00 am

Wow trailrunner that is a really scary story. I hope the guy is O.K. Choosing S.P. is not a choice that I would make, ever.

Even with IMSS there are hoops to jump through. I only found this out by being forced to use it for a life threatening emergency compounded by a banking error, since rectified. It did however work out extremely well and we now see the IMSS angiologist privately.

The rooms in IMSS are not however conducive to recuperation. Best to have a private ambulance waiting to take you to a small private surgery only hospital.


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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Trailrunner on Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:07 am

Per our CR doc this morning, no autho # arrived and at 9pm he cancelled the request. No word as yet on how the pt did.

The best personal strategy is to intimately know your health care plan, draw up a plan for yourselves and loved ones, and know how the system works! Then manipulate the system to suit your needs. It is the same in the states, I always was a pt advocate and advised pts on how to maneuver themselves through their healthcare system.

Sad, it's all come to this, no? However, there are just so many beds in these hospitals and more pts than beds. Be advised and know how things work. Our doctor is considering writing a column or articles on this subject (English and Spanish) so everyone can be better informed.

Hopefully, you will never need this information.


Last edited by Trailrunner on Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by E-raq on Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:10 am

Trailrunner wrote:Per our CR doc this morning, no autho # arrived and at 9pm he cancelled the request. No word as yet on how the pt did.

The best personal strategy is to intimately know your health care and how the system works. Then manipulate the system to suit your needs. It is the same in the states, I always was a pt advocate and advised pts on how to maneuver themselves into the system.

Sad, it's all come to this, no? However, there are just so many beds in these hospitals and more pts than beds. Be advised and know how things work.

Hopefully, you will never need this information.

I think we'll probably all need it one time or another. Who would have thought that a bank screw up would result in my funds being tied up for 7 days just when I needed them most.

IMSS the new one, had over 90 patients in it the weekend I was there. Two doctors, one of whom was a proctologist.
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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by coffeeguy on Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:24 pm

Horrifying as it is to read I so appreciate you posting this Trailrunner. Your posts on the realities of medical care here are a great service to the community!

Since you're too modest to promote yourself, I'll also say that anyone who lives or travels in Mexico should go to your blogspot pronto and buy a copy of your invaluable "Emergency Medical Spanish for Travelers." We don't leave home without it.

Thanks again!

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Ms.Thang on Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:05 pm

What are the best pain meds available to CR?

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Rolly on Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:39 pm

Learn more about pain meds i México here: http://rollybrook.com/health.htm#Pain
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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by E-raq on Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:04 pm

Rolly wrote:Learn more about pain meds i México here: http://rollybrook.com/health.htm#Pain


What a super series of stories and experiences Rolly. Very accurate and detailed.

Thanks so much for posting them.

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Ms.Thang on Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:48 pm

It cracks me up when people come to mexico thinking that things like Percocet and Demorol are just given out like candy.

Thing is, Mexican doctors actually can prescribe certain synthetic/semi synthetic narcotics in the class ll schedule but the only ones available are in injectable forms and are only used in a clinical setting. They can even prescribe these drugs to out patients, but they don't for obvious reasons. About the only time they will is for end of life pain management for a patient they have an established doctor/patient relationship with. Pills you can just forget about unless you see a specialist like Rolly mentioned. It's a strange system, but there are some pretty effective injectables available so I am wondering what CR has to use in cases like this.

Trailrunner's story made me cringe...

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Trailrunner on Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:44 pm

I'll check, but I think it's Tramadol. Do you guys have pain meds?

B, you should drop over some day and introduce yourself to Dr. Sam.
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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Ms.Thang on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:14 pm

Yes, we do...the strongest would be Nalbufina which is a class ll semi synthetic narcotic . It is not that expensive , One 10 ml vial costs around $300 in the pharmacy.

I think I have met Dr. Sam just breifly...Is he the really cute young guy?

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Trailrunner on Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:26 pm

Yeah, and gringo.
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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by sundown on Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:22 pm

The above is a good reason to use Lucy Velez at LCS as a facilitator. She retired from IMSS & knows the system and Doctors to help in a difficult situation. Her services are not free, but well worth the money, as she knows how to "handshake" her way thru. I know several people that she has helped.

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Trailrunner on Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:54 am

Who is your wife or girlfriend, correct? You're the builder?
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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by wheels on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:03 am

there was a worker fatally hurt at a job site in another fracc and the builder never pays any imss, the ambulance did take him to IMSS in Guad, then they found out no imss ever paid. Sad for the family.

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by joec on Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:53 am

wheels wrote:there was a worker fatally hurt at a job site in another fracc and the builder never pays any imss, the ambulance did take him to IMSS in Guad, then they found out no imss ever paid. Sad for the family.

Did they treat him or not?

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by wheels on Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:34 pm

yes and he died, too much damage when a wall fell on him

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Trailrunner on Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:12 pm

Wheels, are we talking about the same builder? The one who neither confirmed nor denied my questions? I imagine so. . .
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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by wheels on Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:30 pm

trailrunner I do not know which builder you mean???

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by slainte39 on Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:13 pm

Sundown is a builder?...That's amazing!

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by Trailrunner on Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:21 am

Is, or was, if I'm correct and I think I am.

Sorry, Wheels, I thought we were on the same page talking about the same builder. No worries.
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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by slainte39 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:57 am

slainte39 wrote:Sundown is a builder?...That's amazing!

This is the guy? that was recommending or implying dog poisoning? HOLY SHIT!!

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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by sundown on Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:54 pm

No Lucy velez is not my girlfriend or wife, but I do use her services for IMSS. It is very malicious to make those statements. The speculation & name calling is not warranted and I prevail upon the moderator for contol.

AND, I have never implied poisoning an animal on this wesite,, or any other, or to another person in my life.


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Re: Seguro Popular vs IMSS

Post by CanuckBob on Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:01 pm

Just ignore them Sundown..........
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