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What Is “Peace of Mind in San Miguel”?

By Sheny Kameko

Some time ago, Melanie Lansing, Clementina Beas, and I met to talk about vital information on health insurance in Mexico, zeroing in on the stark differences between public and private healthcare in San Miguel. They commented on how their insurance clients find this topic particularly confusing, especially when language and cultural differences interfere. Examples of this kind of misunderstanding abound. One lady, upset that the Mexican Red Cross didn´t respond like a 911 operator, complained that the operator couldn´t understand her English and delayed the response time. A Seguro Popular member, unaware of the medical bureaucracy at the General Hospital, waited in extreme pain for four days for a hip prosthesis to be approved and transported to San Miguel de Allende. And a newcomer to San Miguel, thinking that Seguro Popular works the same as Medicare, inquired about purchasing a supplemental plan for her Seguro Popular membership.

“How to Be Prepared for a Medical Emergency”
Thu, Feb 4, 6-8pm
La Casona Convention Center
50 pesos
Seating limited
Doors open at 5:30pm
RSVP: or call 415 108 0810

Fielding concerns such as these sparked us to begin our journey and the Peace of Mind in San Miguel project was born. We then started a crusade to better understand how healthcare services work from the Mexican experts themselves. We interviewed the General Hospital Medical Director, the Red Cross Emergency Coordinator, the Clinical Supervisor at H+ Hospital, a Seguro Popular consultant, and several prominent doctors and lawyers here who serve the expat community. After our crusade was completed, we were better equipped to dispel the myths and misunderstandings surrounding how medical services work.

The experts interviewed joined us in launching the first Peace of Mind in San Miguel seminar on “How to Be Prepared for a Medical Emergency.” During the seminar, these topics were presented:

  • How private health insurance compares to Seguro Popular
  • What differences exist between the General Hospital and the H+ Hospitals
  • Why having a local doctor is so important in a medical emergency
  • What the Red Cross needs to respond effectively in a medical emergency
  • What legal documents are important to have in a medical crisis.

To date, Peace of Mind in San Miguel has presented five seminars and trained over 750 people in emergency medical preparedness. Our successes are measured by the actions our attendees have taken:

  • Finding a local doctor who responds to medical emergencies 24/7
  • Purchasing private health insurance
  • Obtaining an Advanced Medical Directive
  • Acquiring an Emergency Medical Kit.

We are pleased with these accomplishments and would like to thank our panel of experts for their time and contributions to the project: Dr. Robert Maxwell, Dr. Claudia Aguilar, Ángeles Yañes, Sonia Díaz, Rita Zamarripa, John Garvin, Juan Manuel Ramírez, Leticia Fernández, Mariana Salas, Ana Elena Andrade, and Magdalena Ríos.


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