What on earth does this have to do with my hip replacement? You will see. You will see!

Below is a map of Mexico.

In both the above and below maps, the red balloon points to the city or area of Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta is a Mexican beach resort city situated on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahía de Banderas and is a major Mexican tourist attraction for many United States citizens.

This morning I was up at the Mayo Hospital Phoenix having a prescription filled. The process took about forty five minutes. To pass the time, I was sitting in the lobby.

A fellow patient and I struck up a conversation. I explained what had happened to me and why I was so lucky to have avoided being hospitalized in Dubai and had been able to leave Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and fly to Hong Kong.

Here is my compatriot’s story.

“I took my mother to Puerto Vallarta for a respite from winter. My mother fell in our hotel room. She was in great pain and I could not move her so I called the hotel front desk. In short order an ambulance was called and my mother was taken to a local hospital.

I specifically asked the hospital NOT to perform any surgery of any type without consulting me.

Contrary to my request, without talking to me, the hospital immediately operated on my mother.

My mother passed away within two hours.

I was given a bill by the hospital for one hundred and fifty two thousand U.S. Dollars ($152,000) and told that I would not be able to leave Mexico until they had received cash payment.”

I did not get further specifics because I had to pick up my prescription but was assured that the family did indeed arrange for the cash payment. Getting the body out of Mexico was also a very time consuming and expensive project.

Had I been hospitalized in Dubai, I very well may never have been able to pay cash for horrendous hospital expenses. I could have lost all of my assets here in the U.S. which might not have been sufficient to satisfy the debt and, as a debtor, never have been allowed to leave the UAE.

I shudder to think of what could have happened to me / my body in terms of an operation. I could have been subjected to an experimental new process or been the first patient a new doctor operated on.

This is why I consider myself so lucky to have been able to return to the U.S. for my surgery.

So the next time you travel internationally, think about the potential consequences and risks, both financial and physical, should you be hospitalized or receive major medical treatment.

Sobering! .. Cap

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