|you may or may not get emergency care|
from this very experienced doctor
The problem? It was only 7:30 and the pharmacy doesn't open until 8. Meanwhile, I couldn't breathe and I was scared. Instead of playing the game - mostly because we had no idea what the rules were - we walked back to the avenue, paid a concho to take us to a private clinic in the city and hoped for the best. I got nebulized twice that day and even after a few minutes on the machine I felt like a new person. I didn't pay more $40USD for the treatment and emergency care, but $40USD is a week's salary for most people.
Luckily for us, we've not had any real emergencies - Amely's ear bleeding, my one-time breathing issue, a few night-time/weekend fevers, some stitches - and the emergencies we've had have not been very serious.
Emergency medical care is laughable in public centers, but it is not any better in the private clinics. There is no "emergenc-ology" - most of the docs working in ERs are the doctors who just don't cut it anywhere else. From what I understand, the "emergencies" that are generally presented are so routine that it is not necessary to have specialty doctors waiting around. The occasional car accident or burn victims call in the on-call doctors.
Emergency care is generally cheap - especially because, with insurance, it covers all of the medications that they give you, plus the bed-fee and doctor honorarium. We paid just $16USD when Amely had the chicken-pox - which included a salmonella test, blood and urine tests and an IV of saline solution plus anti-vomit and fever-reducing medicine (don't even get me started on all of that). A friend of ours spilled a pot of boiling water on her lap and the bill for all of the services she received was $60USD, for what she reports was pretty decent medical care.
|A visit to the local, public hospital to get stitches|
for one of our students.
Obviously, I don't have any serious emergency experience here (and for that I'm thankful), but basic emergency care isn't terrible - and I guess it really depends what you call an emergency. Make sure to steer clear of the public centers unless you know the people who work there, but remember that just because a place is swanky or costs more, doesn't mean you'll be getting better care.