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Expatriates Living in Mexico Should Have a Plan B for Unexpected Medical Emergencies

Deborah Bickel - Mexico News Daily
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November 12, 2017
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The Letter Project is a simple and easy to use form that patients can use to write to their doctors and their family about what matters most to them at life's end. (Letter Project)

I have lived in San Miguel de Allende for three years now and have witnessed more than a few unnecessarily agonizing deaths of expatriates.

It is not a death at the hands of narcos or through random violence but rather just death by a fall or a simple accident. I would say it is a death made more horrible by lack of planning and community awareness of our vulnerability as visitors and expatriates in a land that has far fewer resources to spend on its own citizens than we northerners may come to expect.

We may have to face the fact that we are not first in line for use of those few resources.

As our lives pass relatively peacefully here in Mexico we may or may not have the good fortune to remain in good health with only the occasional visit to a physician (charging us a fraction of what it costs in the north). We count our blessings and our foresight.

Years may go by but eventually ill health does catch up with us. How many have planned for this in advance? Many do: they get health insurance or go home at regular intervals to see family and take care of health concerns. But as age or illness take their toll, what if those health concerns can’t wait for a leisurely trip north?

As a patient advocate I have seen many an expatriate caught without a Plan B, such a plan being how to manage a chronic cancer, severe cardiac disease, strokes, fractures that shatter brittle bones, cognitive disorders, mental illness — the list goes on.

It is when these illnesses strike that the limitations of your new home may also strike, especially for those living on a limited income.

Give thought to your own Plan B, and whatever would work for you, but now, not when it is too late.

Read the rest at Mexico News Daily

The writer operates Be Well San Miguel, providing patient advocacy services. She has worked as a physician assistant in the U.S. and Latin America and Africa. She trained at Stanford University Medical School and has a master’s in public Health from UC Berkeley California.

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