Medical Facilities and Training at Lake Chapala Ajijic, Mexico

June 16, 2010

Yes, we have modern hospitals, complete with sophisticated technology and highly skilled medical professionals both at Lake Chapala and nearby Guadalajara. These medical facilities provide good quality care, on par, or according to some retirees “superior” care  compared to that in the United States. torre americana The larger hospitals in the Lake Chapala area have arrangements with private U.S. insurance companies including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Morgan White, Aetna, and ING. Tricare,  the U.S. military’s health system, has a global network of providers for U.S. military and their families to access health care, which includes Mexico. Doctor Training in Mexico Medical programs in Mexico require undergraduate and six years of schooling.  Although less than the U.S. pre-residency programs of undergraduate and six years, many medical students in Mexico began preparing for medical school in preparatory school. While medical education in Mexico is structured differently than in the United States, U.S. retirees report a high level of satisfaction for the quality of care delivered by their Mexican doctors. Nurses There are three general types of Nurses Auxiliares de Enfermerias,  (Nurses Aids) This category must have 6-9 years of basic education followed by  a training course of 6 months to 1 year. Enfermeras tecnicas, ( technical nurses) This group must complete 9 years of basic education and a 3-year vocational course. Professional nurses (enfermeras licenciadas) This group  must complete12 years of basic education and obtain a degree in Nursing and Obstetrics from a 4-year university. Home Health Care Professional nursing and in-home care services are available for the communities surrounding Lake Chapala. Services include 24-hour home care, specialized treatments, rental and sale of medical equipment and home delivery or pick-up of medical supplies. The Mexican Social Security System also provides Health Care Insurance, which is available for purchase by foreign residents for less than $1 US, Dollar per day. This program is referred to as I.M.S.S.

  • Donna M

    Hi Sid,
    Thanks for the informative article about medical care.

    I decided to print it out for future reference and it took 6 pages! Is there some way to just print the article and not all the peripheral “stuff?”

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Donna, Thanks for your comment.

    I’m sure there’s a way but it may take software you probably do not have on your computer.

    I would try highlighting it, right clicking copy, opening a word processing program like Microsoft Word, then pasting the copied text into a blank page.

    If you get the photos and other items you don’t want you should be able to then click on each icon, photo, etc, one by one and when they light up just hit delete. Hopes this works. Perhaps one of our members in more computer savvy than I and can give another method.

    You could also just copy the link and make a list of links with a short summary or title on a word processing document and save it to your hard drive and then update it as you come across other articles you want to archive.

    The, to refer back just open the word doc and click or paste as needed to open the doc up at a later time.

    Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Jon

    Chapala and Ajijic both offer state of the art medical care. And with the Guadalajara Medical School 40 minutes away, excellent care is certainly available.
    Is it different than in the states? Often times it is because over prescribing of drugs is uncommon.

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Thanks for your comments Jon. I agree I’m very happy with my doctor here of many years. So far I’ve never had to use my IMSS coverage. Sid

  • Kimberly Young

    Hello, I would like to know about “alternative” and natural healthcare around Chapala area.

    Thanks for all your information, I love your website.


  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Kimberly, Thanks for your nice words about

    There are several doctors here who practice alternative and holistic medicine here.

    My personal doctor here is Dr. Ricardo Heredia for over 15 years; and he’s a medical doctor, a holistic doctor, and alternative therapy doctor and has received extensive training in acupuncture in China.

    Here’s a link to an interview I did with him and posted here on He was a little nervous on camera.

    There are several others but I know very little about them.

    There are also various shops that sell herbs and give advice.

    Hope this helps. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Gary Cox

    My wife, son, grandson and I just arrived in Chapala last week. During the flight down, my CPAP mask was broken. I need advice on the best way to replace it. Is it possible to have one shipped here from my supplier in NC? I checked with a doctor here, and the cost is about double what I paid for my last one. Also while in the US I purchased a gallon of distilled water for only 88 cents at Wal-Mart. It is much more expensive here.

    Other than above problems, we are loving Chapala.

    I am a ham radio operator and would like to meet with anyone locally who is into ham radio to get details on how I can become licensed here in Mexico.

    I would appreciate any information.

    Gary Cox

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Gary, Welcome to Lake Chapala.

    Purified water here is very inexpensive, but apparently “distilled” water is not. Prices here and in the USA are usually determined by the market for the product. My guess is that not many people here buy distilled water.

    I would look on line for your CPAP mask. Then when you find it (Perhaps on Amazon) look to see if they ship internationally and the total costs to see if the total cost is less than buying it here.

    UPS and Fed Ex both service the Lake Chapala area.

    If you find what you want on line try to give them a shipping address somewhere easy for the local driver to find as neighborhood street addresses are not always easy to find.

    Sent me an e mail to if you need an easy to find address and I can help.

    I can provide you with one to use.

    Again, welcome to the area. Let us know how we can help you while you’re in our area.

    Tu amigo, Sid

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