Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico

Monday, June 17, 2013

Uninsured Texans Crossing the Border into Mexico for Medications and Sharing Their Insulin Shots

Paula Gomez, director of the Brownsville Community Health Center.
Is the bickering of politicians getting in the way of poor Americans getting proper healthcare?

I don't know if that's the case, but it sure looks like it in Texas. A recent article in ThinkProgress shows that many uninsured Texans have to cross the border into Mexico in order to get affordable healthcare because their medical bills at home are so high. Those who are afraid to go into Mexico resort to even more extreme measures: sharing their insulin shots.

"Many of those who live here (Brownsville) – including poor Latino immigrants, both legal and undocumented - suffer from diabetes and lack of insurance. Some of those uninsured diabetics, including American citizens and others living here legally, used to go across the border to Matamoros, Mexico for insulin. But now with the fear of brutal drug violence and tougher border restrictions, families share their insulin shots rather than risking the crossings"

The situation gets worse when there's a more serious illness or condition that requires expensive or long-term treatment.

“Once you diagnose a cancer, then what?” said Dr. Henry Imperial, the medical director of the Brownsville Community Health Center. “How are you going to give me chemotherapy or surgery or radiation therapy? It goes out of our hands.”

Unless politicians solve their differences, uninsured patients will have to find a solution on their own.

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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. 

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