It happens…When you have children, sooner or later you need a hospital while traveling!
We recently had the opportunity to try out the medical system while staying in Akumal, Mexico when Baby A took a nose dive (while strapped into his stroller) onto a concrete parking lot, from a raised sidewalk. When I picked him up, he was covered in blood, and it looked pretty bad. Every parent knows that sinking feeling you get when you see your kid get hurt, but I know from experience that the most important thing you can do as a parent in these situations is STAY CALM! ok?! Just chill.
After Baby A was cleaned up with a bottle of water, I could tell the bleeding was mostly coming from his mouth. I held tissues onto his gums to stop the bleeding, and he made (what I thought was) a nice recovery! Kids are miraculous sometimes… but not this time. About an hour later we were eating lunch in Playa Del Carmen, and I noticed my little boo boo bear had blood all over his chin and shirt, so we hopped into the car— and drove literally one block away to Hospiten, a local private hospital. It was only a coincidence we were so close to the hospital, but that is most likely the hospital I would have taken him to from Akumal, had the situation seemed worse in the beginning.
There are many hospitals all throughout Quintana Roo, but it can be difficult to know which one is a legitimate emergency center. Some private hospitals are named after the doctor who owns it, or called “clinic”, or “hospital” when it is not actually equipped for a true emergency. I just so happened to have a conversation the day before with a friend who told me about her own experience at Hospiten with her baby, so I knew exactly where to go. If you’re traveling in the area, you will pass by this particular hospital when you drive between Cancun and Tulum. It is easy to spot right from the highway on the southern outskirts of Playa Del Carmen.
I was by myself with the kids that day with hubs out of town for work, so it was just me and two toddlers (one with a bloody face and shirt). The hospital was quiet, and the security guard at the front door helped me in with the stroller. The front desk staff was bilingual, took our insurance information (and explained their policies regarding cash pay), and got us in right away.
RIGHT HERE is where you need to understand something–> if you’re on a vacation, expect to pay a little more for your treatment than the locals. They have a tourist price, an expat price, and a locals price (so I have heard from other moms). All of which are still lower than you would pay in the US. I’m not entirely sure which price we paid that day, but it was not the local’s price. It was comparable to what we would pay at a reasonable urgent care facility in the US. This also considering there was a lot of blood to clean up, a lot of screaming to deal with, and a US mom who did not speak much Spanish. They had to hold the baby down, make a thorough exam, administer medication, and clean everything up afterwards. They did this with understanding and kindness every step of the way, they spoke fluent English to me, and they gave us clear instructions on how to help Baby A recover completely. I personally feel that I paid a fair price. I am happy to report he made a full recovery within a few days, and saved us a lot more money by severing his own lip tie (it would need to have been lasered later in life). Not a method I recommend though…