Health Care in San Felipe
In Mexico, people fall into different classes and are offered different medical services accordingly. For example, the working class will probably use the Social Seguridad medical facility, the non-working people will probably be transported to the Red Cross. Others may use the Central de Salud facilities. In any case, if the injury or illness is serious, they will be stabilized and then transported on up the Mexicali hospitals for further treatment as necessary.
Back in 2003, San Felipe was finally blessed with a small, fully equipped hospital of it's own, St. James Infirmary, located next to the police station. It was built by Dr. and Mrs. Somers and was well staffed with very qualified doctors and staff. However, there was a problem. Most of the snowbirds, visitors and foreign residents have medical insurance of their own that will not cover them down here in Mexico. Therefore, unless the situation is critical, they will drive to the States for their medical services. This inability to bill US medical insurance companies and Health Maintenance Organizations for care received in San Felipe ultimately led to the failure of the hospital. It has been a crushing blow to the community and has affected the long-term plans of potential settlers in this area.
The hospital building still survives and Mr. Carlos Kuttler, formerly of Remax in San Felipe, has been working hard to reconstitute the services and bring back needed equipment that had to be sold off. Unfortunately, the same situation still exists in regard to billing of medical insurance. We have talked with numerous organizations and emergency service providers who would like to cater to the people of San Felipe but there is no current solution to the problems of providing high quality comprehensive health care here. Medical/Air evacuation organizations make periodic visits to San Felipe, particularly during the winter snowbird season, to sell insurance policies that will enable you to be transported to hospitals in San Diego without having to guarantee the $10,000 dollar fee on your credit card. However, the major problem is that a "trauma stabilization" center is first needed to take care of strokes, heart attacks and serious injuries before a patient is placed on a plane. A second concern is that flights in and out of San Felipe can only be made during daylight hours. Problems which occur in late afternoon may not be resolved in time to allow air evacuation and the only possibility is a two hour ambulance ride to Mexicali.
From personal experience, we can recommend that anyone who needs medical care should initially visit Dr. Victor Abasolo - see below - who has extensive experience in dealing with all emergencies and can arrange for ground or air evacuation to San Diego if needed.
In case of an accident, the police are called, and they usually call the Red Cross Ambulance. You will have to request that you be taken to the hospital for treatment if that is your wish, at hospital costs. Otherwise you will be taken to the Red Cross facility and maybe on to Mexicali for treatment at a much less cost.
Hospital San Felipe
Consultations: (686) 577-1706