Health Care 2016

Both here in Puerto Rico and also in New York, I have taken too many friends and family to hospitals, including for my own needs.  I am glad that your grandson received the care he needed. I agree about the 'wear warm clothes' and bring a blanket.  I also agree that it is part of the hispanic culture in both  PR and NY for the extended family to stay with the patient.  I got used to that practice in NY.   My  PR cousin tells me that it was very common for a family member to stay overnight with the patient.  I did not do that when my Mom was in the hospital here in PR, but I did stay with  her all day, but I did the same in NY.   Overall, it might be based partially on culture, partially on a difference approach to healthcare.  The comparison also extends to the nursing home experience.  In New York, the expectation was that a staff person would take care of the patient's needs.  Here in PR, family pitched in on a daily basis, even helping the other patient in the room. Here in PR, I am grateful to have had  the interaction with other families and other patients.  We still run into each other at different places and give each other hugs.  Which system is better?

I guess that this "system" of family participation in hospitals is part of the culture and most likely expected by hospitals. Family is very important and taking care of family is so normal that "everybody" assumes a family member will be there 24/7.

On the other hand it's of course bad when a patient pushes the button to call a nurse and nothing happens. There have to be nurses, also at night, and leaving a patient without care is plain wrong.

Well everyone, thank you for your good wishes and comments. We really did not feel that we had to stay overnight with him since there are nurses there 24/7.  Maybe I was wrong, but thank God, he survived the night and was very glad to see us early the next morning.  We were both physically and mentally exhausted once he was settled in his room and truly felt that his needs would be met.

For any future (I hope not ) hospital stays either my hubby or me will stay. In some hospitals, like the VA, I don't believe that I could stay with my hubby, not sure but hopefully I won't have to find out.

In any case, my grandson went to the followup with the surgeon yesterday and all was good and he returned to school today.  Hopefully we won't have to go back there.  Don't get me wrong but I liked the surgeon and everything but the wait in his office is FOREVER!!!! I know that he is a good surgeon and he has many, many patients but come on, a wait of 4 hours for a 5 minute exam.  I know, I know that is the way it is here but there has to be a better way.

You can offer him a job to work just for your family, that is an option.  :)

I didn't get seen in the er for more then 10 hrs.  It's disgusting

Trying to not be negative but I'm afraid with the financial crisis this is not going to improve anytime soon. Among the professionals leaving the island are quite some doctors and nurses..

New article today

I have an excellent doctor in Fajardo...he's been in practice for over 25 years and is very thorough unlike the first doctor I went to who prescribed me blood pressure meds after taking my BP twice after about 10 mins granted I didn't take them... then about 3 months later my blood pressure shot up not sure why but I think it was something I ate along with anxiety and went to the ER at San Pablo in Fajardo... they were very attentive once we got seen but yes you have to bring your own blankets and such because it's like a freezer in there...

This article in English is pretty gloomy. … r-2195238/

It's getting ugly... :(

Apparently about 10,000 doctors are talking about creating their own medical plan,  apparently a non-profit. There is a meeting in Miramar I believe this Sunday to discuss the possibility.
Not a lot of detail yet

If you don't have medical insurance how much would a normal Dr. visit cost?

I am not there, but based on several other posts, the amount ranges from 25 to 75 for a doctor visit without insurance. Different towns and different doctors the amount seem to vary.

We have lived in both the USA Virgin Islands and in Puerto Rico.  Both times were about 10 years ago, we presently live in Georgia, USA and have been considering moving back in about one year.  Our experiences have not been positive for health care at hospitals. in either location.  We have had good doctors and dentists for office visits (after long waits)  but we have been  careful  when  picking our emergency care.  As mentioned, there are difficult situations financially in Puerto Rico and many doctors and people seeking good jobs have left the Island.  Personally one of the main reasons we will most likely not going to move back to PR is the hospital problems.  Many family members have been held in hallways for days due to prevailing factors.  The power company in PR charges such very high prices for electricity that it seems it is more cost efficient to keep patients in corridors (hallways) to save money. I have been in San Juan recently and have heard and seen this first hand.  If you have medical problems or can not adapt to " island time" health care, or  don't have a friend who is a medical doctor you would do better to find other locations to live.

Good question, I'm hoping to see some good answers. I will be moving in a couple of months and health care is a major concern. I have Medicare with a supplement to cover co-pay. Also, I am a 100% disabled veteran and receive free medical care at the VA hospital. It is my understanding that there are standards within the VA medical system that must met, whichever VA hospital you go to, they are all supposed to be the same. The VA hospital in New York isn't supposed to be any better than the VA hospital in San Juan.

The VA doesn't depend on local funding, the Federal Government foots the bill and has inspections to insure standards are met. This is the it's supposed to work. For sure, the media paints a black picture of the VA, I am sure there are some short comings and things fall through the cracks, but generally speaking, all the VA hospitals I've been to are good hospitals that take care of us veterans. For the most part, I can't complain. 

I am hoping there is at least one veteran within this forum who has experience with the VA hospital in San Juan and can tell me if the hospital is any good or not.

I believe sandrarduncan, husband attends the VA, I think the San Juan one. She has not posted in a few days, but maybe someone can let her know. You can send her a private message. Also she is in Facebook in the friends of Rincon group.

condorbutch :

I am hoping there is at least one veteran within this forum who has experience with the VA hospital in San Juan and can tell me if the hospital is any good or not.

No veteran here but the son in law of one. My FIL passed away at 85 a couple of months ago. He received very good care from the VA hospital in San Juan. No patients in hallways there, everything organized perfectly, good doctors and nurses.
If all hospitals here would be like the VA hospital there would be no problem  with medical care.
You'll be just fine and will be taken care of properly.

That is good to hear that the VA hospital in Puerto Rico is taking good care of the people they are supposed to be carrying for. I'm going to pass your message along to a fellow solider, like me, he is 100% disabled vet  but living in Nicaragua. He has to fly to Florida for treatment and even though he's been for years, he has never seen the same doctor twice in Florida. Most likely he'll be joining me at the VA Hospital in Puerto Rico.

Thanks again, that is good news

To add to my previous post, there's also an excellent ER in the VA hospital. We took FIL there more than once. No long waiting times, great service.

Let me add a positive experience. :)

The Escuela de Medicina (medical school) of the UPR in San Juan is offering a pretty good service, at least in the ENT dept.
I am going to need a thyroid surgery and have been taken care of pretty good. First visit there a couple of weeks ago, second visit today (I had to have a sonogram and a biopsy done in the mean time). My surgery is scheduled for 3 ½ weeks from now. The waiting time for both visits was less than an hour and since there's no emergency 3 ½ weeks waiting time for a surgery is just fine as far as I'm concerned.

So far, so good. I'll report back after the surgery. :D

Hope you get all fix up soon, we have to go out for a drink or 3

If it all goes as planned I only have to stay one night and should be fine after a couple days.
And yes, it's about time we have a couple of cold ones together.

Gary, I have to comment on your statement that the ER in the VA Hosputal in San Juan was so great. Well we went there a couple of weeks ago and we had aa very bad experience. My husband goes there for hus routine test and some Dr. visits.  He has had many attacks of kidney stones and when he says lets go to the hosputal, I say lets go.

Anyway, we went and we were there in the ER, for 11 hrs. before he was suppossed to get a bed.  He had seen his Urologist and they determined that they would do a procedure the next morning, so we were waiting for them to assign a room.  After quite a while, I asked when was he going to get  the room and of course, everyoone passes the buck, and so I spoke to another person who said that they had the room all ready and he just had to sign the paper, so he signed and we waited for another 1 1/2 hrs and nothung so he told the nurse, he was leaving in 15 minutes if they didn't give him a bed, so 15 minutes later, we were walking out, ( his pain had stopped), and the nurse ran after him saying he couldn't leave and he said watch me. She got to hm and he had to sign off leaving without consent, whuch he did gladly. the problem .was not getting a bed but he had been sitting in a chair for all those hours and his behind was sore. Aa dorctor told hum they would give him aa bed right away but it was there in the ER.

A coupple of days later, they called and asked about the inceident and he told them the storey and they scheduled an appt. which he went to this past .Monday. Now the dr. says he will have the procedure ambulatory and he can have tests done in Mayaguez which is better for us since we live in Isabela.

To make a long story short, we like the VA in SJU;and go there often and have received good care both in the clinics and the ER but this time, it was a terrrible mess.

Just had to voice my opinion.


Toni, sorry to hear about your bad experience.
Obviously things can go wrong in the VA hospital as well.  :(

Gary :

So far, so good. I'll report back after the surgery.

In case somebody is interested, the surgery didn't happen.
The thyroid nodule decided to shrink all by itself to a size where it doesn't bother me anymore. The ENT doctor proposed to cancel the surgery  for now and keep an eye on it.
Of  course I agreed. :D

Cool Gary

That is good news, Gary!

Glad to hear that Gary!!

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