There is a fashion now for something called medical tourism. In other words you see a service you like provided in another country and you travel there to get the treatment. Treatments frequently provided out of country include dental services, cosmetic surgery, bariatric surgery and orthopedic surgery.
I would not recommend medical tourism in any Latin country including Mexico and I can tell you why.
Mexico and the rest of Latin America has a long way to go in terms of being considered first world in many respects including healthcare.
So what are my concerns? In the UK, Canada and the US there is professional regulation along with standards of care which have regulatory bodies to enforce these measures to protect patients.
In Mexico this is extremely limited so as a patient if your medical care goes belly up you have no way of making good the damage.
What are the risks? In Mexico basic things such as sterilization procedures are very sloppy. This puts you at risk when it comes to blood borne diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV. You are at high risk of blood borne infection when it comes to dental procedures and other surgeries. Many dentists in Canada will not touch you if you have had work done outside of the country because of liability issues, so be careful if you think you can just hop on the plane to Toronto and get your favourite dentist to fix the botched dental job you got somewhere exotic. You may find you have burnt your bridges.
Mexico and many Latin countries have developed out of a culture of opportunism and exploitation. So the attitude is why not if you can get away with it. Once the money is safely in the doctors pocket what can you really do if things go wrong. In UK, Canada and the US you can sue because the doctors have professional insurance and there are funds available to pay for malpractice. In Mexico you might have the satisfaction of sending the doctor to jail but you ars unlikely to receive any financial compensation.
The Canadian government has always up till now been generous in standing behind its Citizens but that may change in these days of fiscal strain. In order to qualify for health care in Canada 180 days of residence are required, otherwise expect a bill and you will be paying out of your own pocket.It won’t be cheap!
Bottom line, if you have health insurance in the US or are a Canadian Citizen I would advise you to retain any healthcare coverage you have in case of one of those rainy days.
Personally my overall experience of health care in PV has not been stellar, lab work can be unreliable, doctors unprofessional and careless or hospitals like Medic Air for example in Mezcales just plain dirty. San Javier is my favourite hospital in Puerto Vallarta. It is clean and bright. I trust the lab there and would recommend Dr Leslie Swindle if you have the misfortune to encounter a cardiac emergency.
After defeating an inspired Richard Gasquet in 3 sets in the semi fianls in Miami Florida Andy Murray went on to face today the consistent and industrious David Ferrer. I am a dye hard Murray fan but tip my hat to the exceptional work ethic of the gutsy Spaniard. Juniors and aspiring champions take note.
Andy Murray faced championship point in the third set which he was fortunate to redeem and went on to win in a tie breaker which he dominated against an absolutely exhausted David Ferrer.
Both men played with determination and resolve and in the end the strength and fitness of Andy Murray won through.Juniors take note on the fitness advantage in match winning. Also make sure you have a healthy snack available so that you don’t lose from hunger!
Today’s match was an exciting finale to a tournament which has seen some excellent matches and inspiring tennis.
It’s Easter and it is the end of the long month of March. Things are warming up in sunny Mexico although the nights are still chilly and there is no need yet for heat relief with air conditioning.
But what is happening on our planet?
The Arctic ice cap is disappearing at an alarming rate and along with it the habitat of the Polar bears who are in dire straights and on the cusp of extinction. It may not seem like a big deal here in Mexico but we should all be aware that Ocean levels are rising and will impact all of us sooner or later.
So who is this self appointed environmental policeman? None other than the ugly Choker(silent h) Cola with whom I had an encounter in Vancouver. Some young folks decked out in red and black team uniform were there in the mall telling me that CC was going to provide an island of ice to rescue the polar bears to save them from extinction. Really? CC record on the environment has a curious history and one that does not impress me.
So the deal was that in exchange for a pledge of being more environmentally friendly with resources such as electricity, travel and vehicle usage CC will work this miracle but guess what? Not only do they want a pledge but also your name and e mail address. Excuse me but this sounds like a marketting strategy to improve their data base of likely customers. They don’t care nearly as much about the environment as they do about profit. You and I are going to be paying for the ice sanctuary and CC are going to”follow up” with us by email on how we have kept our pledges. Forget this game this is just marketting masquerading as an environmental rescue by CC of all companies.Nothing altruistic or noble on this occasion nor any other.
Sports drinks are grossly overrated and are just another way of making $$$$ by the food and drinks industry.
Water at ambient or room temperature is the best form of rehydration.
I do not recommend carbonated drinks of any sort as they can cause gout, and osteoporosis. They taste great of course in most cases, although iced tea makes me vomit. The sugar load on the body contributes to obesity, which in turn can lead to diabetes which can cause multiorgan damage including blindness, kidney failure ,heart disease and blockage of blood vessels leading to gangrene.Not good!
If the adverts are to be believed you can’t be happy nor have a good time without a soda of the Choker Cola kind. This company spends $$$$$ on peddling it’s wares and then some in order to convince people to drink this toxic brew. There are no benefits to health from drinking Coke nor Pepsi. There is no healthy nutritional content.It is carbonated sugar or flavoured with artificial sweetners which add to the health damage.There are no micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Water on the other hand has been around as long as life itself and is life giving!
For tennis players I would caution against cold refrigerated drinks of any kind and avoid ice. The thinking behind this is that it slows the circulation of energy in the body and can cause stagnation. This will lead to all kinds of problems including in women menstrual disorders and perhaps fertility problems too.
Fruit juices made from concentrate have limited value. Better to squeeze your own drinks at room temperature.
Herbal teas such as green tea, chamomile and cinnamon are an excellent alternative too.
But the best form of rehydration is pure water, nothing added and nothing taking away. It is what your body needs.
Tennis players are the team and taking care of your body is essential.
One of our greatest health problems in our modern world is insomnia. One of the things which impairs our ability to sleep is the use of cell phones with their bright screens and computers too. The same principle may apply to E books which also use an electronic interface by means of a screen.
So how do computers affect sleep? In essence they interfere with melatonin which is produced as a result of being out in the sunshine. However using a computer just before bedtime even for a short time will reverse the beneficial effects of the melatonin produced from exposure to sunlight earlier in the day and make sleep difficult.
So I am still going to buy and enjoy reading my paper books.
Speaking of which my latest read is The Light between Oceans and it is excellent.You will need Kleenex be prepared!
In the last week I had the misfortune to acquire a fake 500 peso bill. It came I believe from the ATM at Scotia bank near Mega between Mezcales and Bucerias. I presented it at the Famar restaurant where we are frequent clients and was informed very tactfully that the bill was fake.
Please be on the alert and carefully check the cash you are dispensed at the banks and keep your receipt if you use an ATM.
The bank believe it or not can take it away but will not reimburse you. I had the misfortune to have my truck robbed this week too and guess what the thieves took my fake bill. Some divine justice there perhaps.
On that note do not leave any valuables in your vehicles and lock them carefully and then check that they are locked. Don’t make it wasy for these thieves.
Also I have heard from friends staying at the Mayan Palace that they are missing jewellery so be careful there too.
Injuries can take on all sorts of forms ranging from the psychological through to the physical. Mental toughness is essential to be a winner and the capacity to choose the correct shot every time is crucial.
Being able to change strategies to change a losing game is also essential. No one is better at decision making than Roger Federer on and off the court.He is an excellent role model for all junior players who want a future as a pro.
I am going to deal with the psychological first. If a player is having these kinds of problems then a well trained sports psychologist with a knowledge of tennis is invaluable. I know of only one and that is Humberto Ortega former coach to Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Tim Mayotte. Humberto also worked at UCLA and North Western University. You will not find a more lucid tennis mind anywhere.
What kinds of problems do players face? Performance anxiety,self doubt, inability to control emotions, lack of concentration. All of these can be helped with the help of a skilful sports psychologist and foster mental strength and stability on and off the court.
There are a whole host of injuries so I am going to deal with these in a generic way with an overview of options.
I would always avoid surgery if at all possible here are some suggestions.
For injuries amenable to non surgical treatment these are some.
Laser therapy is a form of light therapy which bombards cells with photons and stimulates the bodies own natural resources to promote healing. It is available in Canada and the UK and the US too I believe.
Acupuncture using all forms of art including needles ear seeds cupping, and moxibustion can be enormousy helpful in promoting recovery from injury.
Glandular fever or infectious mononucleosus caused by the Epstein Barr virus is not a joke and can have a profound impact on a player and can keep them out of the game for a long time.The virus has the capacity to attack all joints and can also in some cases cause hepatitis. Kids and adults can be extremely ill and on rare occasions will need hospitalization for rehydration. So do not write this illness off as trivial. Homeopathy can be very helpful in aiding recovery from this nasty condition.
Avoid playing when you have a fever if possible, there is a lot of pressure on pros to play when they are injured and this is a tough one.
Get enough sleep. the practice of Qi Gong helps maintain energy and build stamina. It originates from China and is well worth encorporating into ones daily routine.
General loss of form and fatigue especially in female players : check iron levels and thyroid to be sure that these aren’t the problem. Other culprits are low B12 and folate but are less common. Eating sufficient iron rich red meat in the form of beef and lamb is essential
If you have a serious injury: research carefully all health resources availble to you so that you get the best care money can buy.
If you have questions or concerns please leave a comment and I will get back to you