Know Before You Go: Medical Care in Mexico

In Cancún, Los Cabos, Play, Play, Play, Play, Playa del Carmen & Tulum, Puerto Vallarta by Suzanne Koch

When traveling out of the country, health care can be a foreign subject. While we hope your vacation is full of sunshine and margaritas, getting sick can happen. So what do you do? Where do you go? Will they accept your insurance? What should you know before you go? We had the chance to ask all these questions and more when we talked with Paulino Davo Sayrols, co-founder of H+ Hospital in Los Cabos. Located in San Jose del Cabo, the state-of-the-art hospital offers a slew of medical services and round-the-clock care. Keep reading for answers to all your questions, so you can visit Mexico with total peace of mind.

If travelers are injured or get sick at a resort or rental they are staying at, what should they do?

In Los Cabos, in case of any emergency, call H+ Hospital at 624.104.9300. We’ll send the nearest ambulance or they can come directly to the ER, we have 24-7 medical services. In case they need help, they can ask for the support of the staff at the resort but it’s very important that they let them know they want to come to H+ Hospital. It is your right to choose your hospital. If you are in another part of the country, look for a private hospital. Ask locals for reviews.

What about if they are not at a resort or rental, but off property?

They can call H+ Hospital at 624.104.9300 or come directly to the ER. They have the right to choose their hospital and they can demand any ambulance or cab to bring them to H+.  

What happens when foreigners visit a hospital in Mexico? Is the process similar to the U.S.?

It is different. In Mexico, the patients are responsible for the bill that has to be fully covered before discharge. It has to be paid either by the patient or the insurance company. Most hospitals work with international insurance. However, it is the patient’s responsibility to make sure they have an insurance that covers them in Mexico. Usually, for the use of the insurance policy to be a direct payment, the patient needs to be hospitalized at least 24 hours, otherwise the patient is responsible for the charges at the hospital and then can be reimbursed afterwards. 

Are there any things travelers can do prior to their visit to better prepare in case of a medical emergency?

Make sure to have travel insurance or an insurance that covers out of your country. Do research on the available hospitals or medical services prior to your arrival. If you need insurance you can contact for travel insurance quotes or international insurance.

Do you have any tips for preventing illness while traveling?

We suggest to not drink tap water, just bottled water and don’t eat in the street. Wash your hands, use mosquito repellent to avoid dengue or similar viral diseases transmitted by mosquito bites. Always wear a helmet during guided ATV tours. Drive carefully; do not drink and drive. Use condoms for sexual intercourse to avoid any sexually transmitted diseases.

What is Mexico’s emergency phone number?

Mexico’s emergency phone number is 911, but we highly recommend calling H+ Hospital for any emergency if in the Los Cabos area.

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