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

Our Son Fell Through Our Roof - Life in Mexico
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UPDATED 2/12/2021 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, as something had fallen through it. There were pieces of the skylight on the floor around the trailer we have parked in the garage. At 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 by 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 February 12, 2021.

Exchange Rate: 19.94 pesos to 1 USD

X-ray – 320 pesos or 16.05 USD – Surprisingly we were able to keep this and bring it home!
Stitches – 200 pesos or 10.03 USD
Posipen – 332 pesos or 16.65 USD – Antibiotic
Motrin – 120 pesos or 6.02 USD
Miscellaneous – 112 pesos or $5.62 USD – This includes cleaning supplies, topical medicine, and a shot to numb his forehead.

The total is 1084 pesos or 54.37 USD. I can’t imagine 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

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.

Originally published April 28, 2017


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

  1. Cassie M says:

    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. Laurie T says:

    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. Diane Mayfield says:

    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.

  4. Fabiola Rodriguez says:

    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.

    • Tina says:

      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. Ron says:

    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!!!

    • Bonnie says:

      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.

      • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

        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. Pat says:

    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.

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      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. Babs says:

    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.

      • CR Ruan says:

        Don’t mean to be intrusive so don’t answer this question if it’s inappropriate: I read about your spouse’s TBI and you stated that you and your children have medical coverage stateside so, what made you move to Mexico?

        • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

          Simple and cheap lifestyle. Life is slower here and that helps my husband greatly with his stress level. Stress causes him to have more problems and life in the States was very stressful. Cost-of-living is also much cheaper and so my husband does not need to work outside the home. In the US he still needed to work a little to pay our bills despite having a disability. This only made his problems worse. After weighing all the options it just made sense to move to Mexico. It was a good decision thus far ;-) I should write a detailed blog post on this. Thanks for the idea!

  8. GLM says:

    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. Pat says:

    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. Arn says:

    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…

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      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. Gayle Collins says:

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

  12. K Cal says:

    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.

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      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 :-(

  13. phil says:

    US run down for broken shoulder
    Diagnostic Radiology 416.00
    Emergency Services 652.00
    A Motrin and a Tylenol 0.42
    Total 1068.42
    Insurance: Veteran’s Choice, Highmark, and Medicare. Cost for me $75.00 And the only reason I’m not looking at 1.068 is because I had three insurances. The services consisted of helping me move, a sling, and dinner when I almost fainted on them at 10 pm because I didn’t have dinner and lunch was at 10 a.m. The low sugar and the pain just caught up with me.

  14. Kelly Rubio says:

    My husband is a mexican citizen. Our family of six was in mexico for four months last year. While there we took two of our kids to the doctor for stomach bugs. Both times the cost was around 300 peso’s which is less than $25 and that included the doctor visit and about 4 medications to take home! Healthcare is one thing Mexico has going for it!

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      I am glad to hear you had a good experience as well. We have actually been to the hospital a few times since then… and each visit has gone really well. I think we found a decent little hospital!

  15. susie says:

    with temp visa you are entitled to imss and with perm visa Sergio popular- I know some changes are happening with it, but don’t know when that would be, curious to know how many motrin you got for that price, that might be something i will need to stock up on to bring since i live on for chronic pain. wonder if the private hospital would have done anything different and how much. i am impressed with what you have for a home for the rent, we move to Merida July 1 and prices are not as low or as nice, lucky you. we won’t have a car so we have to be in walking distance and or bus. for everything we are adding up, sure wished just the two of us could live on your budget. i think rent is about the same as we pay here in the states. we are older and just wanted a change and love the culture of Mexico, it use to be cheaper, but i have seen costs double and triple in some places just in last two years. it is all about where in Mexico and how you want to live

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      Motrin or Ibuprofen is very cheap here. I wouldn’t worry about that. Although be careful because if you take it ALL the time it can affect your liver! And thank you, we love our home :-) Perhaps when you get here you can travel and find someplace besides Merida that won’t hurt your budget as much. Are you buying or renting? I recommend renting for a while until you are sure about your choices. Wish you the best Susie!

      • susie815 says:

        i know you say cheap but how much is cheap? how may pesos, im aware of the dangers i am a nurse, just wanted to know the peso cost and how many? those are the things i like to see in a blog, especially since everyone feels mexico is so much cheaper

        • Sarah says:

          It’s great the bill was so low for you and wonderful your son is okay.

          I recently had a bad ankle sprain in Cancun. The hotel doctor thought it was broken and sent me to the hospital. She suggested I use a medical ride MN this consisted of a man who’s uniform identified him as a paramedic. The ride was in a simple van in which my husband lifted me up to the seat and out of it. I just got a bill for $1066.50 USD for this ride the doctor told me would be about $90 USD.

          I was very impressed with the care at the hospital but I have to say it didn’t seem sanitary like in the US. My bill at the ER was just under $900 USD and I felt it was very reasonable compared to here. This was not with a schedule of benefits like insurance companies provide making it so in- network providers can not charge you more than the agreed upon price for services.

          A doctor came in my room very quickly, looked at my ankle and said something to the tune of someone would be right with me. Another lady came in almost immediately and told us I needed to see the specialist and get x- rays and the cost would be approx $500 USD. After all of this was complete the orthopedist came in and told me I didn’t have a break but a very bad sprain. He advised I take the boot and crutches offered and that the cost for them would be approximately $400 USD. The boot felt better than anything I’ve ever had to relieve pain once they got me in it after fighting with my foot to straighten out.

          Overall I was behind impressed with the quality of care for such a small amount if money as compared to the states. However I am super upset about the cost of this ambulance bill.

          I’ve always been terrified of having a medical issue when I’m out of the country. I no longer am due to the quality of care I received.

          • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

            Thank you so much for the informative comment! I am glad you received good care. That is the most important thing. I am so sorry you were over-charged for the ride to the hospital.

            On the other hand, Cancun is notoriously more expensive because it is a tourist area and frankly… locals know they can charge higher prices and tourists will be forced to fit the bill :-( Sad, really, but such is life.

            Again, thanks for the info and have a great day… and hopefully, next time you are in Mexico you won’t have any hospital visits!

    • Ricardo de la Fuente says:

      Somes places in Mexico are more expensive than others. Merida, Yucatan is a turistic zone so life is not as cheap as Uruapan, Michoacan. Rents, food and services tend to be more expensive in turistic zones.

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