Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Seguro Poular: Blood draw

So I'm going to make this post as short and sweet as I can because I'm excited to write the next one. But for those who want to know how the operations of public health care in Mexico go here it is. Oh and I want to be clear because of a comment I got on a previous post. We are going through the Seguro Publico or Popular right now not the Seguro Social which is the one you get through a work place and is basically free after they take a little out of your check. The Publico or Popular is cheep but not free but is accessible to anyone in Mexico regardless of where your from.
My appointment for my blood draw was at 7am and now that we know how things go here I was there by 630 and only the second person there. Yeah for me!!! I went alone because it was just a blood draw and Issac was at home with the girls and had worked it out with his job to go in for an evening shift that day. The lady behind the desk actually showed up promptly at 7 which was a bit of a change from our other experiences. We all lined up in the order we had come (did I mention I was 2nd.) The lady took my paper and wrote a big 2 on it and sent me off to the caja. We were not sure if we would have to pay for the blood draw or how much it would be and so I brought 100p with me just in case. The lady behind the glass at the caja window asked me if I had the Popular. (quick explanation you can basically buy it like an insurance for a year at a time and it will all be even cheaper or free, it looked to me that those who had it were getting there blood work for free) I answered no and she went over to the calculator. "Quatro Quarentados" I mistook this to mean 42p. Because 442p is ridiculous right? Wrong she was charging me 442p for some blood work. "No me alcanza, tango cien es todo." I don't have enough all I have is 100p. She stared at me a min then started speaking very rapidly. "Un momento necisito llame me esposo." she nodded and called for the next person. My husband asked to speak to her and she then explained to him that I could go to the Social Trabajo office inside the hospital and tell them I had no money for my test.
Ok Amanda deep breath you can do this, don't cry, you can do this.
So off I go to the office I walk in and hand the guy my papers and say, "no tango denero para este examino." He looks at me sceptically and looks at the papers, he then asks me where I'm from and I tell him. He gets a very frustrated look on his face and says under his breath, "Que Caro" and his shaking his head no.
Ok Amanda you can do this dont cry, just explain yourself.
So I then said, "mida tango cien pesos es todo y necisito este examino."
He then asks me what my health issue is and I explain it to him while he is looking at me all mean and shaking his head. He also asks if I have the Seguro Social and why we are not using it, and I explain that they wont do the surgery. He asks all types of questions like where does my husband work, what does he do, how many kids do we have, how long have I lived here, am I planning to stay here in Mexico ext. While still looking frustrated he then looks up a bunch of numbers in a book and writes, 10pts on my paper and signs it and sends me back to the caja. This actually went pretty quick but felt like an eternity to me. The side of the caja that I needed to go to thankfully only had one person and when its my turn I hand him my paper and the other lady explains to him what has happened. After adding everything up with the 10pts the guy gave me our total at 94p. So now I know there are Mexicans who feel Americans shouldn't get their cheaper health care system just like there are Americans who feel the same way about any other immigrant group in the states. I use to get really upset at these people when I was there and now that I'm feeling the sting on the other end I still want to go back and give them an ear full. But seriously that morning while I was waiting I was thinking about how I hadn't gotten any kind of grief from any one, not the other patients or the doctors or nurses. So far just this one guy, I then take a deep breath and shrug him off. I go back to the original lab window where the lady put the 2 on my paper. She explains very rapidly something with out looking up and I don't get it. "Dile otra ves por favor" I say please say it again. She says it again while looking at her desk and very fast. "Lo siento pero puedas dile mas despacio." She looks up and you can see the lights come on in her eyes, she obviously says the same thing all day and didn't realize I didn't understand. So she then takes her time explaining to me that before I go to my doctor appointment I need to go back to that window to pick up my results and that someone will call my name. I see many other labeled blood vials and at that point accept the fact that I have lost my place in line, but that's ok I expected this to take awhile. I text my husband with this information and I sit down ready to wait awhile. Not even a min later my name is called, I hadn't lost my place in line and I was out of there very quickly. I walked out with a skip in my walk knowing this was a huge accomplishment for me.
That day I learned that not only are my language skills improving but my ability to take in stride the harsh criticism of others. I'm not even angry at that guy because I know he just doesn't understand and maybe never will. There are a lot of people who will never understand why this gringa moved from the security of her homeland into a whole new world. But I do and I know its what God wanted and still wants from me and I was happy for how I did this day. So although this post is mainly about how things go with health care its also about how a gringa is learning to move about in Mexico. Thanks for reading all and I'm on to my next post. (but not till the girls nap time have to go play and bring them to the park.) ;)


  1. Unete a la red social de Tepa, encuentra amigos, empresas, clasificados, eventos, noticias y mucho mas.

  2. Yay!!! Woo-hoo! That was my attempt at my cheering for you!

    Very awesome, Amanda! I am so proud of you. I know what you mean about wanting to cry! But you hung in there and worked it out. BRAVO!!!

  3. That was a wonderful post and I am so proud of you Amanda!

  4. Felicidades! Eres una mujer muy fuerte.