Our Son Fell Through Our Roof - Life in Mexico

What is The Cost of An Emergency Room Visit in Mexico? The Price-Tag Will Blow Your Mind!

Accidents happen… Like the time last year when my son fell through a skylight on the garage roof. One minute my four kids and I were in the guest room talking to my mom-in-law and the next minute I hear Sawyer, our six-year-old, crying in the kitchen. He was so fast that we didn’t even notice him leave the room and less than 30 minutes later we are on our way to an emergency room visit in Mexico! Before I get to the cost of an emergency room visit in Mexico let me tell you the WHOLE story.

If you aren’t interested in the story just scroll to the bottom for the cost ;-)

An Emergency Room Visit in Mexico

What Should We Do?

We assumed that he had fallen off the kitchen counter while trying to get something out of the cabinets. It was hard to get the exact details from Sawyer between his tears but there were streaks of blood on the counter and the floor, and his head was bleeding. We have granite countertops and tile floors which could explain the deep cut and bruise on his forehead.

I was worried about his head so I called my husband asking him, “What should I do?” Brad was at a short Bible meeting not far from home and he came back to check on our son. We decided that Brad would finish his Bible meeting and I would take Sawyer to the hospital to have his forehead stitched up.

On his way out the door, Brad noticed the skylight in the garage was broken, like something had fallen through it. There were pieces of the skylight on the floor around the trailer we have parked in the garage. About the same time, I noticed that Sawyer had scrapes and bruises on his back and stomach. This was more than a fall from the kitchen counter!

Going to The Hospital

Brad realized this at the same time and we both decided to take Sawyer to Hospital Civil de Uruapan. Although Sawyer still doesn’t remember it, he fell through our garage roof skylight and landed on, or near, the trailer. We think he bounced off some tires we had in the trailer and we are very grateful they were there. If it wasn’t for the tires his fall could have been more severe.

We took Sawyer to the same hospital that helped me a few months before when I suffered from kidney stones.  It is farther from us than other hospitals but it is less costly and we were happy with the care I received so we decided to take Sawyer to the same place. This was our second emergency room visit in Mexico in less than a year :-(

They took us back right away and the doctor spoke a little English. Between that and our broken Spanish, we were able to explain what we thought happened. They took an x-ray of Sawyer’s skull and fortunately there were no fractures. He showed no signs of a concussion as well. Then they poked and prodded him to see if he had broken anything but he didn’t complain and he could move without pain. Last they cleaned his wounds and stitched up his forehead.

What is The Cost of An Emergency Room Visit in Mexico? The Price-Tag Will Blow Your Mind!
His x-ray came back fine. Thank goodness for hard heads!

The doctor gave us a prescription for Posipen, an antibiotic, for Sawyer’s cuts and scrapes. And a prescription for Motrin for swelling and pain. There is a pharmacy attached to this hospital which is very convenient and the prices are reasonable too. We went home and monitored Sawyer that evening. By the next morning, he was up and running around as usual.

How Did This Happen?

Here is where you are wondering “How did the kid get on the garage roof?” Well, it’s not uncommon for roofs in Mexico to be accessible. Sometimes they use them as patios and often the roofs hold the gas and water tanks. Most times they are flat. Our bedroom window opens up directly to the roof over the garage. Later Sawyer told us that he wanted to talk to the boys next door so he went on our roof to see if they were home. From our roof, you can see into our neighbor’s yard. Somehow he ended up falling through the skylight in the process.

I am very thankful that Sawyer was not hurt further from his fall. Brad measured it at about 15 feet or 4.6 meters. I swear, this boy gets more bumps on his forehead than I can count! My girls are not accident prone so this is new to me. This is the same boy who swallowed glass when he was 18-months-old. Sawyer is going to give me a heart attack for sure! I hope Tristan is a bit more cautious. We talked with Sawyer about the dangers of playing on the roof and hopefully he won’t try it again.

How Much is An Emergency Room Visit in Mexico?

In conclusion, I want to share our hospital costs with you for reference. I planned on doing this when I had my kidney stones but never got around to it. All I can say is that my kidney stones were just as cheap as Sawyer’s fall. Here’s the rundown using the exchange rate for today, April 28th, even though I think the exchange was better for the American dollar when this happened in November 2016.

Exchange Rate: 18.82 pesos to 1 USD

X-ray – 320 pesos or 17 USD – Surprising we were able to keep this and bring it home!
Stitches – 200 pesos or 10.63 USD
Posipen – 332 pesos or 17.64 USD – Antibiotic
Motrin – 120 pesos or 6.38 USD
Miscellaneous – 112 pesos or $5.95 USD – This includes cleaning supplies, topical medicine, and a shot to numb his forehead.

The total is 1084 pesos or 57.60 USD. I can’t image what this would have cost in the US. This is another part of our life in Mexico that I love, the price of medical care! I told you the price-tag would blow your mind. At least it’s in a good way ;-) Signing off, Tina

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What is The Cost of An Emergency Room Visit in Mexico? The Price-Tag Will Blow Your Mind!
Receipts from Sawyer’s medical care for his fall through the roof.
Colors of Mexico
Beautiful Prints and Canvas Gallery Wraps from Mexico with Love :-)
About the author

I live in Mexico with my hubby and four kiddos. I keep busy with homeschooling, traveling, and my Bible ministry. I love photography and writing, so I blog. My family is a little nutty but nutty is never boring and always an adventure. And I love adventure!

32 Comments

  1. Tina I can only imagine!!! Almost gave me a heart attack just reading about it…LOL. Anyways thank Jehovah that all is well, and he is back to being an active young boy.

  2. Thanks for the insight on the hospital there in Uruapan, sounds like pretty good medical care at a fantastic price. I am pretty sure the cost of your whole hospital visit was less than the cost of a dose of Motrin if given at a hospital here in the states. Glad your son was o.k.

  3. I’m happy to hear Sawyer is fine and no broken bones. God is good! I’m new to reading your adventures and so glad I came across your messages. I’ visited Mexico Michocan a few month ago in a small town called Catalina, I fell in Love with everything about Mexico, so I have decided to retire to Mexico in Nine years, I’m getting more and more excited about returning in December to look at properties. I was worried about medical , but now I feel much better. Thanks for the share.
    Diane

  4. Kids will be kids! Thank God your son is ok!
    For people worrying about health care in Mexico, I have to say it’s actually pretty good. My dad was recently hospitalized because his kidneys are not doing well on account of his diabetes. He was in there for 3 days, we had to hire an ambulance, he received multiple doses of specialized medication and oxygen, he was hooked up to monitors, and was on round-the-clock medical supervision. He has medical insurance, and we didn’t have to fight the company to cover the costs. We only ended up paying $400 pesos ($21.25 USD) as a deductible. Not bad at all.

    1. Sorry. I should have addressed that! They were professional, attentive, kind, and quick! When it was my kidney stones I was in so much pain I was barfing in a cup and still in my pajamas. They took care of us both times. It is now my hospital of choice!

  5. Being in an auto accident in August at Lake Tahoe, California — I was rushed to the emergency room and X-rayed with a fractured right humorous bone in my upper left arm— no special treatment – just X-ray and a flimsy cloth sling— Approximately a 3-31/2 hour visit— final bill was $14,150.00– INCREDIBLE!!!

    1. We RVed in Mexico for 6-8 winters and occasionally needed care for minor ailments. Always received top quality at astonishingly low cost. We are Canadians. Our last RV injury incident occurred in Victoria, BC, on the far coast of Canada from our Newfoundland home. The scenario was quite similar to Ron’s. My husband was seen in the ER for a broken collar bone. Took about the same time, also had X-rays. Was given a very fine sling. Out of pocket cost: $0. Love that Canadian health care system.

      1. Sounds good to me! The kids and I actually have excellent healthcare in the US but Brad, not so much. He has Medicare because of his disability and it doesn’t cover 100%. You would think it would when a person is declared unable to work but I guess they want you to pay the extras out of your pension!

  6. The reason your cost for the ER was because it was a Hospital Civil. Hospitals Civil are run by the Mexican government, hence the lower cost. If it had been a private hospital, the cost may have been double. But still cheap by all standards.

    1. You know I thought it was private but I guess not. I don’t know about the bigger issues but for kidney stones and a minor head wound, it was excellent in my humble opinion. One of our good Mexican friends recommended this hospital to us. We have private hospitals here but I am glad he showed us this government hospital first :-)

  7. I live in San Miguel de Allende. In June a dog accidently got between my legs and tripped me so I fell forward. I threw up my arm to break the fall and my arm went through a glass window in the door. A neighbor rushed me to H+ hospital where the ER doctor stabilized me as I was bleeding out by this time. A few hours later I was in surgery for three hours while a plastic surgeon reattached the skin of my arm. With over 100 stitches in this arm, I was eventually sent home with friends and monitored for about three weeks. All costs in total were $2,200USD. My niece who is an ER doctor in the USA said that would have been about $45,000 in the USA!
    In addition, for emergencies, I have Skymed which can fly me back to the USA where I have Medicare. I’ve lived in Mexico for 17 years and this is the most anything has ever cost in all these years. Typically a doctor’s visit is 500 pesos which is $25USD at today’s exchange rate. Thanks for your post.

  8. This has been my experience, as well. Care is amazing in Mexico and there are no emergency room waits. My elderly aunt (an American) lived in Rosarito. When she fell and fractured her hip, she was transported to the US for surgery as she had Medicare. Her initial treatment in Mexico (ambulance to the hospital for x-rays and meds and the ambulance ride to the border — 18 miles away) was around $30 total. The 8 mile ambulance ride alone from the border to the US hospital (as patients are transferred at the border) was $2000! They said she received ALS (advanced life support,), yet they verified that she was in no medical jeopardy and never lost consciousness. They classified ALS as monitoring her vitals. What a scam!

  9. I would never return to the US for medical treatment. Aside from the fact that billing for medical procedures in Mexico wouldn’t amount to the deductible for Medicare, the care in Mexico is full of compassion. Not to say that there aren’t probems in Mexican medicine but there are problems in every country’s medicine.

  10. Last year, in Boulder, Colorado I went into the emergency room after a fall off of my bike. Three hours in the emergency room, a total of five minutes conversation with the doctor (in his defense he may have spent up to an hour looking over data), an MRI of my mid section, and a final determination that I had a bruised (but not ruptured) my spleen, bruised ribs, and torn cartilage between three ribs … they sent me home after three hours and told me me to take it easy for a few weeks. Total bill = $17,500 US
    Sin palabras…

    1. I remember those bills from when we lived in Kentucky. Thank goodness we had good health insurance! I hope you did too! And I hope you have healed well and are back to biking :-) My husband used to bike with his father and brother.

  11. Are you living in Uruapan? I tranveled there about a year ago and loved it. Especially the avocado yogurt and ice cream!

  12. I want to add here, that one thing we should note, is that the reason for inflation of most of these costs is due to what the costs the companies charge for supplies, drug companies prices, and cost of living (paying employees) , cost of utilities and rent for the hospital building are a lesser factor. This isn’t doctors in the US being greedy, this is supply and drug companies greed and also insurance companies dictating prices too.
    I live in both Mexico and the us myself.

    1. Very true. We have some wonderful doctors in the US that we really like. When we return we try to visit them for checkups. I don’t think one person or category is to blame for the high cost of US healthcare. It’s the world we live in :-(

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