So, 6weeks ago I decided to join Karli on a drive to Argentina climbing along the way. For this I decided it might be worth getting anti-malaria tablets and a yellow fever vaccination since its likely I would be going to a few melting pot areas for all the nasty infections and diseases.
Now, big pharma in the states is known for charging a lot for prescription drugs and I do put a limit of the cost of my good health, so, proceed through the states without buying any. The plan was mexico for both. A week before entering Mexico I decided to try to get a price for the goods. I managed to find out that several Walgreens and walmarts with pharmacies could give a yellow fever vac at around 120-150dollars. And it is possible to get Doxcyiline, but the costs are kinda high and a consultation at extra cost is required, an eXtra 40dollars. My poor life isn’t valued that high, I’m a cost cutter. So against the usual kind of advice from wealthy practitioners saying don’t trust lower cost care, I achieved lower costs.
Now, in Mexico any pharmacy will sell you prescription drugs without a prescription. Which is great. In a small town I went into a pharmacy and paid about 20dollars for a 70 day supply of doxyciline. Which was the easy part.
Yellow Fever Vaccination proved a different beast. The pharmacies sent me to the hospitals, the hospitals sent me to the general public hospitals and on and on it went in every town and city along the way. After about 10 hospitals we found ourselves waiting to talk to a doctor. When he arrived speaking good concise English he slowly explained that the vaccination wasn’t normally available in Mexico, only an after care as it wasn’t genrally a problem in Mexico. He told us to wait till we are in El Salvador, Honduras or Nicaragua as it would be widely available there. He also wrote a note to pass to the next hospital to make it easier. “vacun fiebre amarilla”.
In Le Ciela, Honduras, we started looking for a hospital, the daily mosquito bites were a driving force. Into the firs hospital, they pointed us to the second. The second was rundown and looked closed, so we went to the third. In the third hospital. The ‘medico’ we were directed up a staircase. Up the staircase we were directed to a door. Inside the door was a receptionist and a waiting room. We asked for ‘vacu fiebre amarilla’, she invited us to take a seat. This seemed positive so we complied.
The receptionist informed Karli, who is now speaking pretty reasonable Spanish, that the doctor was on lunch break but would be back soon. An hour wen by and the doctor arrived. Again, like the last, the doctor speaks slowly and concisely in English. He informs us he can give the injection there and then, but for the vaccination passport/cert we would have to take a note to a different building Monday morning. After receiving the shot I proceeded down the stairs to pay. The shot cost approx 100dollars. Still cheaper that the states. All in so far its cost 100 for the yellow vac and about 20dollars for 70days of doxcyiline. Total $120.
I feel this is a saving of about 120 to 150 dollars. roughly based on
130 for yellow, 70dollars for 70days of doxy, and a consultation at 40dollars. total $270. Win. Now I feel fully prepared to strip naked and run through jungle laughing at the mosquitoes biting me in awkward places without the worry of half the tropic bacteria, fevers and nasties.
I will also add that while each of the many hospitals we entered were a little worn, they were very clean, being actively cleaned and mopped and the staff all very professional. All in the same as any trip to a western hospital.