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Old 07-12-2015, 18:14   #46
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

+100 for getting it done in Guate City. Excellent healthcare available.

Guate has been my home base for over a decade and my experiences (all minor fortunately) have been excellent and inexpensive for first class care. I do know others who've had major medical procedures there also with excellent results.

Be happy to refer you to docs I know who can then direct you to appropriate specialist.
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Old 07-12-2015, 18:21   #47
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

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Originally Posted by Uliad View Post
...
Second advice: As others have mentioned, you will find caring, qualified, Western Trained physicians using the latest techniques and equipment almost anywhere in the world if you look around. The US embassy is a good place to start. I would not be afraid to get it done there if I were you.
...
US Consulate in Guate publishes such a list on line. I also have a copy of it if you have trouble finding it.

Plenty of english speaking USA & European trained docs in Guate.
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Old 07-12-2015, 18:23   #48
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

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Thanks to all who have responded.

I wish we had More savings, which was eaten up by my husbands previous medical problem which has resolved, theoretically. He was never sick a day in his life until then . We can save up to have it done in February/March ish. Depending on how much of course.

Currently he is better after having months of frequent attacks of RUQ pain, n/v/d., finally saw local doc, ultrasound showed 20cm stone, treated with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory meds, and diet. Now has occ attacks (2 in four weeks), but overall improved.

Boat is mid sole replacement and porthole replacement, and is on hard, So can't get to states quickly. We have two wieird dogs and a cat so can't fly up for possibly lengthy time. hubby is reluctant to go alone.

I am trying to get personal recommendations for doctors, hospitals in Guatemala but its not easy, and harder when you are shy I am an RN so I can take care of him, but it's hard to find out infection rates of hospitals here. And stuff happens, as we all know

time , money, quality creating a rubix cube type dilemma.
dogs, cat??? You need to get your priorities straight. Have a local person care for the animals and buy a couple of plane tickets to either the US or Costa Rica.
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Old 07-12-2015, 18:27   #49
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

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...
I am trying to get personal recommendations for doctors, hospitals in Guatemala but its not easy, and harder when you are shy I am an RN so I can take care of him, but it's hard to find out infection rates of hospitals here. And stuff happens, as we all know

time , money, quality creating a rubix cube type dilemma.
But it is easy, I'll be happy to put you in touch with docs I know personally in Guate City who can then refer you to the appropriate specialists.
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Old 07-12-2015, 18:30   #50
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

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dogs, cat??? You need to get your priorities straight. Have a local person care for the animals and buy a couple of plane tickets to either the US or Costa Rica.
I also know very good vets in Fronteras (Rio Dulce) and in Guate City who can arrange care for the pets.
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Old 07-12-2015, 18:36   #51
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

Most providers and hospitals in the US accept Medicare. Depending if you have part B, which is the Dr's coverage, or not, you are responsible for 20% unless you carry a supplimental, which pays a portion or all of the remaining balance. Most hospitals also have charitable programs that will reduce or write off the remaining balance. The fact it is medicare has no bearing on scheduling surgery. If it were me, I would be mostly concerned about the quality of the facility where the procedure would be done, and what the infection rate is. After being responsible for carrying my own medical insurance for most of my adult life, Medicare is a gift, even though I paid and still am paying for it.
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Old 07-12-2015, 18:41   #52
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

US Embassy Guate healthcare info:

guatemala.usembassy.gov/medical_information.html
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Old 07-12-2015, 18:42   #53
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

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Most providers and hospitals in the US accept Medicare. Depending if you have part B, which is the Dr's coverage, or not, you are responsible for 20% unless you carry a supplimental, which pays a portion or all of the remaining balance. Most hospitals also have charitable programs that will reduce or write off the remaining balance. The fact it is medicare has no bearing on scheduling surgery. If it were me, I would be mostly concerned about the quality of the facility where the procedure would be done, and what the infection rate is. After being responsible for carrying my own medical insurance for most of my adult life, Medicare is a gift, even though I paid and still am paying for it.
my realitywith medicare was high fees despite medi b and costs out the roof, as most of the stuff the md i used who said she acepts medi care didnt, apparently and left me an 8000 usd charge. try paying that on ssdi. i was not amused.
is better here to use the mds i find when necessary and stay tf away from ridiculously obnoxios prices of usa.
ent exam was 100 pesos. try that in usa.
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Old 07-12-2015, 19:16   #54
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

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I'm not sure that this is a political statement. I know a few who have used and they are ruing the day they used it. He makes a valid point about the IRS and penalties. It is sadly a valid consideration.
In what case does the IRS collect any payment for direct medical care?
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Old 07-12-2015, 21:40   #55
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

People's opinions on health care on this forum are just a little bit scary. After all, you are not just going down to the store and getting the generic wholesale. Healthcare differs with every doctor to go to. There are some fine physicians in Central and South America, I have done burn surgery in Honduras that was unbelievable.
By and large, however, physicians reflect the local economy. MD's are only part of the equation, today's medical art is dependent on tools and technology as well as the human part. Excellent doctors also tend to go where the money is- whatever country you belong to.
Can you get your Gal Bladder out in almost any country- probably true. But if you think you are going to pay those people pennies on the dollar compared to your Medicare deductible? I think that is where the case breaks down. Your plan to wait a few months may work or it may not. If your husband develops severe cholecystisis and a necrotic gal bladder, he will have to have life saving surgery immediately.
I would recommend that you take care of him first, you second, pets 3rd, and the boat last. You can always get another boat.
BTW- I have been a physician since 1989. The IRS has never collected for any hospital, public or private, which I have worked with.
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Old 07-12-2015, 21:42   #56
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

Thanks to all who have responded, even those who have made me feel bad. First let me say that if I had lots of available money, the decision of where or when would be much easier. We cannot afford to fly up and stay in hotels indefinitely. If I knew for a fact it would be a limited time, say a month or less it might be feasible/affordable in a few months. My husband is stable right now.

So unless it becomes an emergency ( which it could, of course, ) I have to choose between paying cash in advance for care here or sailing back to the states. Again, both options feasible in a few months, (can't sail back until boat is put back together and you need funds for the sailing back up)

So can we do anything right now? No. So I am trying to figure out feasibility and risk.

And yes the pets could be boarded, but they are like family to Patrick, and short of an emergency, it ain't gonna happen. And no we are not putting port lights before his health but I'm not keen on a trip from Guat to Florida with no windows and no floor.

So, plan A, save up have it done in Guat city in few months, hope no unexpected.
Plan b, save up, sail to states in a few months, take all the time we need then.

Plan c, dire emergency, borrow money from family (probably kill him with that one
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Old 07-12-2015, 22:07   #57
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

How about a more viable "plan D" which actually makes some sense?

Fly your husband back to the US to stay with relatives while you remain with the dogs and boat, and have the surgery immediately and paid for via Medicare?
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Old 07-12-2015, 22:12   #58
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

SV Beth It takes money to get to states and One has to live somewhere while there. I don't have that right
now. And I would burn the fn boat to the ground if I thought it would help, but it is our home at present.

And I'm sorry I mentioned the pets, as it seems to piss people off.

And yes I'm aware it all could go south. But at present we have few options. We did have a nice nest egg when we retired, but one serious illness has already decimated that and we were starting to rebuild it.
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Old 07-12-2015, 22:16   #59
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

Kenomac. I like your plan, but staying with the family isn't, shall we say, a great idea for many reasons. (I already have blabbed too much to the distress of my very private husband!)

. It would probably be easier to convince my husband to sell a kidney (and he only has one

And of course the problem would be "have the surgery immediately". But maybe if I figure out how to do that.....
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Old 07-12-2015, 22:28   #60
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Re: Out cruising-may need surgery

[ Your plan to wait a few months may work or it may not. If your husband develops severe cholecystisis and a necrotic gal bladder, he will have to have life saving surgery immediately.
.[/QUOTE]

This is the contents of my gall bladder 3 years ago. This may or may not be unusual, but my point is this - I suddenly experienced nausea and stomach cramp after NEVER having any symptoms, even mildly, before. I was admitted for surgery within 24 hours and the surgeon had trouble removing the gall bladder in one piece because it was so inflamed. Lab tests subsequently made reference to 'necrosis'. So, although our bodies are normally good at telling us there's a problem, I think we should not wait for a certain degree of discomfort before acting!

Disclaimer - I'm just a patient, not a professional..
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