This is not a happy post. A friend and workshop participant arrived several days early to do some sightseeing on her own before our program started. The taxi she was traveling in crashed into a concrete barrier on a major highway. On impact, she was thrown from the back seat to front, hit her head on the dashboard, and went into an immediate coma. She did not have international health/accident insurance and she was not wearing her seat belt. I urge you to always wear your seat belt. Even in collectivos where they pack 5 passengers into a 3 passenger vehicle.
It took me over three hours to get to her from the city center to the suburban clinic because of traffic to intervene. It took hours of bureaucracy to get her moved from this clinic with limited facilities (where the ambulance took her from the accident site) to the best hospital in the city with a neurosurgery unit.
The cost for an emergency admission at a private, highest quality tertiary care center in Mexico, is 200,000 pesos payable in advance. That’s about $15,000 in today’s exchange rate. That’s the base. The cost for a medevac airplane to take an accident victim to the U.S. is $60,000.
This covers the logistics. I am unable to talk about the emotional impact to her family, friends, and to me. It’s too painful. This woman is young, beautiful, smart, and sensitive. She does good work in the world that makes a huge difference in people’s lives.
It’s called an accident because we never know who it will happen to, what the severity will be, when or where it will happen. Mexico is a wonderful place to visit. However, you don’t want to be without medical insurance coverage here. Indeed, if you travel the world, you need to be covered.
I am now requiring that anyone who attends one of our programs carry international travel/accident insurance. Before it was an option. Now, it is a requirement.
Accidents happen. Let’s be prepared.