Cost of Living, Part 2: Health Care

When our youngest son Simon visited us for three weeks last month, we did a bit of medical tourism. He had a sebaceous cyst on his eyelid (which had been growing for about a year and a half).  Our mission (Reach Beyond) has a hospital, Hospital Vozandes Quito; he saw a dermatologist and had an ultrasound on a Tuesday afternoon, had the cyst removed by a plastic surgeon Wednesday morning, and had the (3) stitches taken out in the emergency room on Sunday afternoon (he was leaving Quito early Monday morning). Total cost $186:

  • $18        Dermatologist (we got a 10% missionary discount)
  • $33        Ultrasound
  • $129      Surgery by plastic surgeon
  • $6           Stitches removed in the ER

Had we gone to one of the more modern hospitals we would have paid more.  Jody sat next to a lady on a long bus ride who happens to go to the same glaucomologist at Hospital Metropolitano.  Her doctor recommended that she have her cataract surgery at Hospital Vozandes for $2,000 rather than at Hospital Metropolitano for $4,000.

Here is a random collection of our medical expenses:

  • Jody’s eye expenses
    • $60      Appointment with glaucomologist
    • $40      Field of vision test
    • $35       Month’s supply of Krytan-tek, glaucoma eye drops
    • $35       Month’s supply of Travatan Bak-free, glaucoma eye drops
  • Jody’s annual physical
    • $17      Initial doctor appointment (at Reach Beyond clinic, with an English-speaking doctor)
    • $44     Blood tests
    • $22     Bone scans (densitometria osea 2 puntos)
    • $79      Mammogram
    • $9        Ear Wax removal by nurse
    • $17       Followup visit with doctor
    • $311     Boniva, 12 monthly doses (with $105 discount for buying a year’s supply)
  • Vaccinations (at Reach Beyond clinic)
    • $25/dose    Rabies (first, second, and third dose) (Verorab)
    • $75 & $21    Pneumonia vaccine (1st dose:  Prevenar 13V X 1 JER PRE X0.5ml); (2nd dose:  Imovax pneumo 23 Vacuna)
    • $8    DT vaccine (Imovax DT)
    • $22    Typhoid (Typhim)
    • $12 & 26    Hepatitis A (first dose:  Havrix Adulto 1440; second dose:  Avaxim Adulto)
  • Scott’s orthopedic care (at Hospital Vozandes (for foot he broke in Costa Rica))
    • $18    Orthopedist appointment
    • $28    X-ray of foot
    • $30    Initial physical therapy session with evaluation
    • $11    Subsequent physical therapy sessions

For our friends living in other Latin American countries, how do these health care costs compare with your experience?

About scottandjody

Scott and Jody have been married for 44 years and have six adult children and four grandchildren. Scott worked as a CPA for over 32 years and Jody was a homeschooling mom. They have been serving as missionaries in Quito, Ecuador since 2014.
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