Mexico’s Seguro Popular—A model of inefficiency–Getting Started

CAISES in Moroleón

CAISES in Moroleón

I have hypothyroidism which was diagnosed shortly after the birth of my son.  It’s a chronic condition that requires a pill each and every day.  A box of these pills costs $400 pesos and lasts about 2 months.  Sometimes we don’t have the $400 pesos and I do without.  A long period of doing without means that I become over-emotional, weepy and exhausted.

My husband decided that we needed to find a way for me to get my pills and applied for Seguro Popular, the Mexican version of Medicare.  We qualified, despite the fact that I am only a Mexican resident, because my husband has been out of work for the last 3 or 4 years and the fact that we live in La Yacata without electricity, water or sewage.  However, in order to get the all-important policy paper, we had to provide a comprobante de domicilio (proof of residency) in the form of a water or electric bill.  On other occasions, we have borrowed a bill and claimed we were renting at the address on the bill.   We were tired of doing this and therefore solicited a letter bajo protesta decir la verdad (under oath to tell the truth) from SuperPrez saying that we were living in La Yacata without utilities.  Thankfully, the office accepted it as adequate proof and we went for our initial family consult at the hospitalito (clinic).

The reason there isn't a line at 9 a.m. is because everyone knows they must arrive at 4 a.m. to get a number!

The reason there isn’t a line at 9 a.m. is because everyone knows they must arrive at 4 a.m. to get a number!

We arrived well before 8 a.m. which was good since it took 40 minutes for the staff to determine which module La Yacata belonged to.  Finally they decided that we should be assigned to module 5, which was only open in the afternoon.   Since we were already there, and a little peeved, the nurse on duty said that she would do our consults that morning, so we waited.  Our examination consisted of each of us being weighed and measured, a blood pressure and diabetes check and a health questionnaire about vaccinations, illnesses and surgeries.  I explained that I needed to take levotiroxina, but that I had run out of pills.  The nurse had a doctor write a prescription for me, but the pharmacy at the clinic didn’t carry that medicine.  My husband went to another clinic, but they wouldn’t give him the medicine because the doctor had written a prescription for 2 boxes and they said they never give 2 boxes.  So my husband returned to the first clinic for another prescription for a single box and then back to the second clinic for the medicine.  It took all day but I got a box with 100 pills.

The nurse told me that when I ran out, I would need to come in again for a full examination to get a prescription refill.  So that’s what I tried to do.  We arrived before 8 a.m. for a ficha (number) for module #5 but were told that all the fichas (numbers) had already been given.  The nurse said we could come back at 2 p.m. to see if the doctor had time to see us after all the people with fichas (numbers) had been attended to.  So we did.  And we waited.  Then another nurse told us that we would need to go to the Regional (regional hospital) in Uriangato to get a receta permenente (permanent prescription) since my condition was chronic.  It would have been nice to know that before we wasted the entire day.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Mexico’s Seguro Popular—A model of inefficiency–Getting Started

  1. Pingback: Getting Legal—Moto license | Surviving Mexico

  2. Pingback: Mexico’s Seguro Popular–Back for more–Round 1 | Surviving Mexico

  3. Pingback: All Around the Health Care Bush–the monkey chased the weasel | Surviving Mexico

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