The Hotel Calls the Doctor | Mexico | Living in Mexico

The Hotel Calls the Doctor

I developed itching and redness in my eyes. Day by day it got worse, so I asked the hotel to call a doctor, knowing that expecting a doctor to make a house call is standard procedure in Mexico. It's one of the delightful little benefits that offset annoyances such as incredibly noisy weekend nights.

Twenty minutes later, Dr. Oswaldo Basto Moguel [sic] arrived. A warm, open-faced man sporting a bushy mustache, he quickly reached a diagnosis: conjunctivitis caused by a bacterial infection. He then opened his tackle box and searched for an appropriate medicine.

That's right. His little black bag is a large plastic tackle box with fold-out compartmented trays. It's filled with all kinds of medicines, a selection, he told me, that treats 95% of the conditions he finds on house calls.

Rummaging in the depths of the box, he fished out a tiny bottle of Biodexan antibiotic eye drops. He instructed me to put a drop in each eye three times a day for five days and assured me I was going to feel better immediately.

I asked him what his fee was. He told me $600 pesos ($55 US) for the house call and the medicine. I only had bills to make up $550 pesos or $1,000. He said, "That's OK" and took the $550. I suspect that he charged me half again what he would charge a Mexican patient, but I'm always grateful to be in a position to pay a little more in this country. Besides, it was a lot cheaper than an office call in the US, and I didn't have to drive to the clinic and then to a pharmacy.

And in fact, I did feel better immediately.