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?

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About scottandjody

Scott and Jody have been married for 39 years and have six adult children and three grandchildren. Scott worked as a CPA for over 32 years and Jody was a homeschooling mom. They are now serving as missionaries in Quito, Ecuador with Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global).
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