If you are going to be spending some time in Playa Del Carmen it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with medical care options in the city in case you every need to use them. In a worst case scenario, you do not want to be choosing a service to go to right after an accident. Prices and quality of service vary greatly, so we are providing this article to give you a general overview of what is available in Playa Del Carmen.
For Tourist: If you are staying at an all inclusive hotel there will be basic medical facilities available. If you need something else basic, see below about going to a pharmacy for medications or basic care. The general attitude toward guest to Mexico is with great care, priority is given to making sure guest have excellent care. This attitude is reflected by ambulance drivers, doctors, hotel employees and hospitals. You are not seen as just an opportunity to make money but genuine care is given towards visitors. In fact tourist can receive better treatment then locals which is good for tourist but not exactly fair.
Basic Care Lets start with basic care. You will be pleased to know that it is very easy to receive a look-at from a doctor, same hour service and cheap! Attached to most pharmacies are consultation doctors.
Similares Pharmacies are the most common and are recognized by the Dr. Semi cartoon doctor. (There are more of these concentrated in the South end of town near Juarez Avenue but can also be found on 30th Avenue for example at 18th Street and 34th St. ) Prices are about 35-50 pesos to see the doctor. The rate is higher in the late night hours, but who cares at these prices! Everything is a-la-cart, meaning, if you need a blood test or something else, there is a price list for that. That really is a great deal. If you use these services and need to get a prescription, it can be extremely convenient. The doctor will give you a prescription and you walk around to the pharmacy and get it filled.
The expertise of the doctor can vary, but basic care this is a great option. Most doctors speak Spanish with very little English and with the amount that move around it is hard to say where the English speaking doctors are. The good thing is that Latin medical terms and basic Spanish can get you by and a little antibiotic or pain pills can get you through most ailments.
Take note: A shot in the butt is a very common treatment for pain, muscle aches and fever due to small infections. The drug is called diclofenaco and very popular in Mexico. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). So get ready to pull down your pants and get your medicine! Medicines usually cost in the 200-300 peso range. They often will recommend vitamins and a few items on your sheet. What you buy is up to you.
Tip: Getting medicine in Playa Del Carmen is better at air conditioned pharmacies. The strength of medicines is reduced when not stored at proper temperatures.
If you need to get test done there are clinics like the one pictured to the right here that will do all your testing for you. These clinics give you professional printouts of your diagnostic results. This clinic is located on 30th Avenue between 4th and 6th Street.
If you work in Mexico, you will have basic medical coverage called IMSS. All employers are required to pay into the system and it is like a socialized form of medical care for Mexico. We mention basic because the IMSS hospitals are not extravagant and will require you to produce a lot of paperwork and will also require a lot of time and patients. A lot of the time when you go you get the famous “shot in the butt” then you are to rest and come back in a day or two. Fortunately most health issues heal themselves and the rest does you good. The good thing about IMSS is the fact that they have to pay your salary while you are out of work if you got injured at work, so it is in their interest to get you better and back to work. The bad thing about IMSS is you will spend at least half a day waiting there and multiple visit, it is almost like they don’t make it easy for people so it will discourage people from faking it. IMSS has two hospitals in Playa Del Carmen. The older of the two is located on 30th Avenue between 4th and 6th Streets. This hospital does not have a lot of specialty services and is more of a general medical care center for people with IMSS. There is a new IMSS hospital in the north end of Playa that has specialist like physical therapy, gynecology and other specialty areas of medicine. This hospital is by far the better one.
Hospitals For those that do not work in Mexico and are not covered by IMMS or do not want to go there, here are a few options for you. All of the listed hospitals and clinics will work with insurance providers. Playa Del Carmen is about on par now with services available in Cancun. Many expats have found that for major medical care or extensive health issues, Star Medica in Merida is the best service in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is three hours away from Playa Del Carmen but gets glowing reviews and has world class facilities. Star Medica now gets international people seeking its great services and is growing in medical tourism.
Tip: When going to a hospital in Playa Del Carmen, if you are a resident and have identification, mention this, you may benefit by being charged a little less.
Hospiten Hospital is the best hospital in Playa Del Carmen. It is the largest and has the most advanced care center in Playa. With that being said, you will also be paying high rates. English is well spoken here and this hospital is used to treating tourist and foreigners living in Playa Del Carmen. Services and specialties include: Emergency room, general surgery, pediatrics and pediatric surgery, dermatology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, diagnostic imaging, radiology, gynecology, internal medicine, trauma surgery, orthopedic surgery, urology and general medicine.
Hospiten is located on the Carretera on the south end of town by Centro Maya and is backed up against Playacar Phase 2. The exact address is:
We hope this list helps you become more familiar with medical services in Playa Del Carmen. Lets hope you don’t need them but now you are a little more prepared. Since everyone’s needs are different, please consult each facility to see what might fit your needs.