My trip to the hospital in Peru

Two days ago over night a freckle on my face more than doubled in size. Scary, yes? We decided I really should go to a doctor about it. This morning in Cusco, Peru the first thing we did was go to a doctor. The primary care physician was worried about it and said I needed to see a specialist. I was pretty stressed out by this point and could have really used a Diet Coke, my comfort food, but apparently they have never heard of Diet Coke in these parts.

I’m pretty sure that anyone reading my blog knows what I think of the American medical system and what a sham it is but today I had an experience to reiterate it.

They called an ambulance and I was shuttled to the hospital to see a dermatologist. She said it’s nothing dangerous and not to worry about it and prescribed me some cream to apply to it every night and told me to apply and re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours.

Total cost? $75 USD.

  • Initial doctor’s visit
  • Ambulance ride to hospital
  • Consultation with specialist
  • Ambulance ride back

Let’s run that down for what it would cost in the US: Of course we wouldn’t take an ambulance for an overgrown freckle so we can rule that out but a visit with a primary care physician is at least $75. Then  to see a dermatologist would cost about $500.  So that’s close to $600. Of course if you were to need an ambulance ride in the US it’s usually $800-$2000 one way and they hauled me both ways. That means low balling my visit would be $2200 in the US.

That means it’s cheaper to buy a round trip airline ticket to Peru, visit with a doctor and go back home in the States than it is to see a doctor Stateside. Is that messed up or what?

I know there are plenty of people in border states that go over to Mexico to get their dental work done because it’s so much cheaper there but I just had my first real life experience with how reasonably priced medical care can and should be.

If you are reading this I hope you are outraged.


Our day in Lima, Peru

I had no idea how big Lima was! It’s somewhere between 8 and 9 million people. I’m sure there are interesting things to see there but we did one day and left. I got a chance to see my first catacombs and it was amazing! You’re not allowed to take pictures but, well, I did anyway.

We walked around town a bit, we ate in China town, and we saw some of the scariest mannequins ever. IMG_2299

We learned that nothing is open in Peru before 10AM. Stores are not open, you can’t find coffee and even the escalators don’t work before 10.

Trinidad made friends at the hostel. People love her everywhere we go but especially in Latin America where they don’t see many blonde haired blue eyed little girls.

This is the hostel we stayed in: 1900 Backpackers Hostal 1900