Sick? Where to go…

by Diana Pastor

What better idea for November – famous for the Day of the Dead – than to provide you with some advice on how to postpone this festivity for yourself. Unfortunately, not all the foreigners that visit Xela come equipped with medical insurance with universal coverage, so we’re going to provide you with some info on some of the most popular options for when you need to go and see a medical professional.

The Hospital General de Occidente is a free institution offering outpatient and emergency services. If you want to use their outpatient service be sure to arrive at midday at the very latest in order to ensure that you´ll be seen, or join the queue at 6 / 7 in the morning if you want to be one of the first patients to be seen. Service quality at this hospital is fairly acceptable. However, if you use their emergency services you´re running a risk as, whilst you may be seen straight away, you may also have to wait for hours and hours until someone is able to see you.

The Hospital PRIVADO de Occidente, is a centre with outpatient services that range from Q200 to Q250. But be warned, if you use their emergency services it´s wise to ask how much they will charge you, as the fees here can cost a fortune – especially if you need to stay there for a prolonged period of time. Similar services are provided by the Hospital la Democracia and the Hospital de Especialidades.

APROFAM is a hospital-clinic with prices that are usually Q50 per consultation. Their services are better when they are not dealing with a huge number of patients. They specialize in gynecology and treatment for women. APROFAM also has a laboratory for tests which is reasonably priced.

El Centro de Salud also provides free services and is therefore used by a huge number of people. It is used for less serious consultations. It´s important to remember that if you are bitten by dog (a frequent occurrence in Xela due to the inordinate amount of street dogs here) and you want to have it treated for free you need to go to the Centro de Salud and not to the hospital, which is not responsible for treating dog bites.

Low-cost specialist clinics – there are a large number of clinics with a varying prices and admissible quality, such as Clínicas La bendición oCooperación Alemana, to name a couple. The average price for a consultation is Q50. Alongside these clinics, you can also go to the clinics of private general practitioners.

Private medical specialists: There are many of these, some quite good, specializing in all kinds of areas, up-to and including nephrology. We recommend that before going for a consultation with any of these, try to get a reference / recommendation from someone else and also find out their fees, which can range from Q150 to Q300, depending on the specialization.

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