Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico

Friday, August 29, 2014

Diabetes in Mexico: Coca-Cola or Genetic Disposition?

The "name on a can" promotion has been a success in Mexico
There is a saying that Mexican Coca-Cola is better tasting than the American one. I don't know if it's true or not, but for many doctors and health experts, Coca-Cola and other types of sugary treats are the cause of the high number of cases of Diabetes in Mexico.

Diabetes is the number 2 leading cause of death in Mexico, with 80,000 deaths per year. A short time ago, Mexico became the country with over 100 million people with the highest rate of obesity in the world.

One of the leading factors is the diet. As cities grew and people started to eat in fast-food restaurants and small restaurants, sodas became more and more popular. Today, Mexico is the country with the highest consumption per capita of soft drinks in the world. At 728 8-oz servings per capita, Mexico stands far from the second (Chile, 460) and third (US 403) places.

To most doctors, this is enough to explain Mexico's high rate of diabetes. However, a new study by the Stanford School of Medicine claims that genetics play an important role on chronic conditions. In specific, the report claims that Mexicans have a genetic disposition towards diabetes.

So, is it the diet, the disposition, or both? In any case, I'm sad to say that I don't believe that anything is going to change soon.

Want to know more? Read about the joint efforts of the Mexican Institute of Geriatrics and the University of Southern California.

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Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to  get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

University of Southern California and Mexico's Geriatrics Institute Team Up

Mexico and the US working together towards a better future
A few days ago, a two-day workshop between the Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging at the University of Southern California School of Social Work and Mexico's and Mexico's National Institute of Geriatrics was held at Mexico City. The objective of the event was to foster dialogue and identify opportunities for partners from both sides of the border.

The International Workshop on Social Support for Older Adults, brought together scholars, researchers and other players together. The event was supported by the American Embassy in Mexico as part of the US-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research.

Some of the topics covered were the global tendencies towards aging populations, reduced number of births, changes in the structure of families, and the development of networks and infrastructure that provide or block the specific needs of the senior citizens. Some of the topics were the health needs of aging populations and how to deal with them.

It is interested to notice that scholars from China were also invited to the even to share their ideas and their problems.

Want to know more? Read about the recent report on Mexico's health insurance industry.

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Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to  get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Information about the Personal Accident and Health Insurance Industry in Mexico

People not in poverty often prefer the public IMSS program instead
There is a new report, issued by Marketreportstore.com about the personal accident and health insurance in Mexico.

In specific, the report indicates that the personal accident and health insurance industry in Mexico has grown at an annual rate of 10% from 2009 to date. The pillars of this growth are the increasingly bigger allocation that Mexicans are giving to medical expenses, the constant, if slow, GDP growth, and government programs to encourage people to buy health insurance.

Out of the three types of insurance, travel, accident, and health, this last one accounts for most of this growth (88%). Also, 10 insurance companies cover 90% of the market.

Finally, only 18% of Mexicans use private health insurance, so these growth is generated by less than a 5th of the population.

I would have liked to write more about the results of the report, but at a cost of $1,500 dollars, I'll pass. I suggest you get a copy of The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico instead. However, if you want to get the report, you can find it here.

Want to know more? Read about how the US Healthcare system is the most expensive, but not the best.

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Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to  get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Healthcare in the US, The Most Expensive in the World and not the Best

Let's split these claims in two. The first one, is from Reuters. According to Reuters, an American pays in average about $9,400 per year in healthcare.

The second one is from the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. According to the OECD, an American pays an additional $1,000 per year in pharmaceuticals and other medical non-durables. Moreover, according to the OECD, the US is 26th in life expectancy form males born in 2012 and 29th in life expectancy for females born in 2012.

Finally, as a country, the US ranks the highest in healthcare spending in relationship with its GDP, at 19%.

With these tendencies continuing, it is no wonder that Americans who can are going abroad, specially to Mexico for healthcare.

Want to know more? Read about The Mexican "No."
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Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to  get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Mexican "No"

There is no shortage of guests in Mexico, even for just watching soccer.
There is a joke about ex-pats that Mexicans will never ever say "no." Like many stereotypes behind a joke, it signals a tendency rather than a rule.

Mexicans value personal relationships much more than Americans. This means that Mexicans take things more personal. Sometimes, an American can seem too rough or rude to a Mexican, while the Mexican can seem too sensitive or thin-skinned to an American.

Another example is criticism at work. Americans tend to separate their work from their persons, but Mexicans do not. Thus, criticism of one's performance in public is much more embarrassing to a Mexican than to an American. Obviously, like with everything, there are exceptions.

At the extreme, saying "no" directly can be seen by some Mexicans as a mild insult. It may sound weird to Americans but when a Mexican says "yes" when they mean "no," it's because he doesn't want to insult you. To him, it's like if you are offering a gift, and then he insults you by rejecting it.

So, how do you know if a "yes" is a "yes" or a "no"? It takes practice. Here are a few tips.

Understand that it's a stereotype. Mexicans come in all types. And a person is an individual first, and a Mexican second. Also, it's a cultural thing and complaining about it is not going to go away.

When it comes to real important things, Mexicans have no problem saying "no." For example, a doctor or a potential employer will not be afraid to say "no" in a professional setting.

On the other hand, Mexicans have no problem saying "yes" to invitations to parties or get-togethers, when they know fully well they're not going. In Mexico, this isn't considered rude. On the contrary, it is the responsibility of the host to adjust for people not showing up, or showing up with an extra guest or two. At the very least, assume that a Mexican will show up with a friend, spouse, or romantic interest. Mexicans typically prepare extra food, just in case, which often gives them an excuse for a second, smaller reunion the next day, called the "recalentado," literally,  the "re-heating" (of the food).

If someone who has lived in Mexico for a while was present at the time, ask him or her later if that "yes" was a "no." Over time, you will learn who keeps his word and who doesn't.

You'll eventually memorize some "code phrases." For example, "I'll see" means "maybe" and "I'll do everything humanly possible to be there" means "no."

Living in Mexico is a different experience, and you may find some Mexican traits that you do not agree with. I guess you could always avoid it by staying in a gated ex-pat community, but then you'd miss out on many of the great aspects that living in Mexico offers.

Want to know more? Read about how Americans aren't looking forward to retirement age anymore.

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Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to  get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fewer Americans Looking Forward to Retirement

Many Americans Just Keep Working
It used to be that retirement was something of a Golden stage for Americans. It meant a time where you could forget about working and dedicate yourself to your passion, hobby, or traveling without financial worries.

However, this case is happenning less and less for the average American. William Kilster, 63, from Colorado says that he sees retirement the way a woman tied to the tracks in one of those old movies sees a train. It's getting closer and closer, doesn't like it, but can't do anything about it.

"There's just not enough to retire with. It's completely frightening, to tell you the truth. I, like a lot of people, try not to think about it too much, which is actually a problem," says William.

The reason, as you might already know is that Americans have been losing purchasing power for decades and that traditional pensions are disappearing or being reduced. Since savings are closely related to income, the result is that more and more Americans are having less and less money saved for their retirement.

Susan McNamara, 62, from Boston, Massachusetts, says it's difficult it is for her to have any savings at all. "Over the years, all I've been able to do is pay the bills. Anything that's left over is used up when your car breaks down, or when the furnace breaks down. There is never anything left over, ever."

In addition, people retire at an age where they tend to need regular healthcare, which has gotten more expensive. They also typically expect to be needing even more healthcare in the short and medium term, especially if they just continue working.

What does this have to do with Mexico? As senior citizens find that they just don't have the purchasing power they expected, they tend to go to Mexico to get healthcare at a price that won't drain their finances so heavily. Some of them decide just to move to Mexico, where their level of income allows them to afford a much higher quality of life than it would in the United States.

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Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to  get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

More Americans Moving to Mexico than Mexicans Moving to the US

There's even a TV show literally called Gringo in Mexico
The number of Americans that have emigrated to Mexico has been on the rise. Today, that number is twice as high as it was a decade ago.

There are 850,000 Americans legally living in Mexico. In addition, there are an unknown number of Americans that live permanently in Mexico, but never get a resident's visa. If you add Canadians, the second most numerous group of expats in Mexico, we could be talking about 1 million ex pats living permanently in Mexico. Again, the exact number is not known because many Americans don't get residents papers and are unaccounted for.

The number of Americans coming into Mexico is now bigger than the other way around. Despite what most people think, ex-pats in Mexico live all around the country, not just in famous resorts.

As to why Americans are coming to Mexico:

-It's close. You can always take a flight home or even drive back.
-It's cheap. Compared to the living prices in the US, living the good life ("la buena vida") in Mexico is rather inexpensive.
-Healthcare is actually affordable. One of the main reasons Americans come to Mexico is because they can't afford the healthcare they need anymore. Many times, they decide to stay.
-There are always ex-pat communities. You don't have to be the only gringo in town if you don't want to.
-Most brands are chains are found in Mexico. Because ex-pats are so numerous, companies have invested in making the most common products they are used to available in Mexico.
-Roads and Internet are great. Of course, unless you take a dirt road to some rural village, but some Americans come precisely for that.
-Mexico's culture. This is not the space to talk about Mexico's rich culture. Suffice to say, it is a culture famous worldwide.