When you move to a new city, and certainly to a new country, one of the things on your checklist has got to be healthcare. And within that broad subject, it is always good to be able to check the box next to “Hospital Nearby”. The completion of a new, modern hospital in Valladolid has brought a growing confidence regarding health care services to the city’s citizens and to those considering making Valladolid their home town. Both the federal and state government provided financing for the construction of this new hospital complex, which began in 2005. While there were many delays during the construction process, the finished project is being championed as an excellent example of significant commitment to the improvement of health care by state and federal officials. The Valladolid Hospital’s Grand Opening was held on May 21, 2012.
Easy Hospital Access
The hospital is a sprawling complex of buildings located on the north edge of Valladolid with convenient access from the cuota (toll road), which runs between Merida and Cancun. A large and free parking area is provided for potential patients and visitors a short distance from the main hospital entrance. A significant number of handicapped parking spaces are available in the area closest to the front entrance of the hospital as well. Parking is also provided for doctors, nurses, and staff. Ambulances or private vehicles have access to the emergency room through the circle drive at the hospital’s front entrance. The emergency room is less that 50 feet from the parking curb, which facilitates almost immediate emergency services when time is essential to save lives. If emergency room doctors determine that a patient’s needs require transfer to one of Merida’s exceptional medical centers, two ambulances are on call on a 24-hour basis for the transfer. In addition, all doctors have access to O’Horan Hospital medical specialists for immediate consultation via the Internet.
Currently, the hospital has 50 rooms with a total of 60 beds dedicated to patient care. Future plans include the addition of another 30 to 40 beds. Both shared and private rooms are available.
Six admissions areas service patient admissions. A dozen consultation rooms provide privacy for patient/doctor discussions. Modern laboratories analyze blood and urine samples as well as other patient needs. A fully-stocked pharmacy with professional pharmacists provides the necessary medications for the doctors’ prescriptions. A locked entrance and the consistent observations of security personnel at all times provide security at the pharmacy.
The neo-natal unit has been furnished with modern equipment and technology including incubators for premature babies. Newborn infants are provided with the best and most essential care to insure a successful beginning for their lives.
A professionally-equipped kitchen is used to prepare healthy foods for patients under the direction of a professional dietician. Individual meals for patients with special needs can be arranged. A small cafeteria and public lounge is provided for guests who are visiting patients. Nurses even have a mobile emergency cart equipped with oxygen, a blood pressure measuring device, instruments to perform a tracheotomy and additional medical supplies.
Well Trained Hospital Staff
Doctors and nurses with professional training in a wide range of specialties are either available in the hospital or on call. Some of the major fields of specialization include general surgery, internal medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics, orthopedics, anesthesiology, nutrition, physical therapy, psychiatry, psychology, and radiology. The hospital currently employs 270 individuals including 64 doctors and 114 nurses. Most doctors speak Spanish as well as a little English. Residents and interns studying at the hospital are required to study English and many are proficient in English. Almost the entire nursing staff speaks Spanish, and 60 percent of the nurses speak Maya. Since a majority of the hospital’s patients are Maya, a large number of the admissions staff is bilingual in Spanish and Maya.
In the past, some local patients and visitors criticized Valladolid’s General Hospital because it was old and showed the wear and tear of many years of operation. Air conditioners failed regularly, medical equipment was outdated and in need of repair, and the latest technology was simply not available. The admissions areas and the emergency room frequently seemed overcrowded. The new hospital is a major improvement over the old facility in all those ways and more.
Expatriates and Visitors Welcome at the Valladolid Hospital
One of the most frequently asked questions in Valladolid is, “Who is eligible to use the new hospital?” and the answer is “Everyone!” The hospital is part of the Servicios de Salud de Yucatan (SSY), sometimes referred to as Seguro Popular, which means no individual can be denied healthcare.
For the expatriate community, this is truly exciting news. Expatriates living or traveling in the central part of the Yucatan are eligible for all available medical services. In the past, concerns regarding heart attacks, strokes, or car accidents posed an uneasy feeling for expats in this region. Now, if you are anywhere near Valladolid, and you are an expat who needs care, you will receive it. Expats are not required to have medical insurance. However, a Mexican health insurance plan will simplify the use of hospital services. Medicaid, Medicare, and private U.S. medical insurance are not accepted. If you do not have Mexican insurance coverage, you pay according to your ability. The fees are normally a fraction of what the same treatment would cost in the United States. That has not stopped a stream of expats who have been injured at Chichen Itza and arrive in Valladolid needing stitches for cuts, treatment for broken bones, or stomach disorders.
For our readers traveling in the Valladolid area who find themselves in need of medical attention, they can contact the hospital for emergencies or general services at (985-856-2883). If the person answering the phone does not speak English, simply request to speak to an English-speaking employee. A simple Hablas inglés? (ahh-blahs ing-GLACE?) will probably suffice to get that person on the phone.
Valladolid Hospital’s General Director
It should be apparent after reading this article that Valladolid now has a modern hospital capable of meeting a wide variety of health care needs. The operation of an enterprise of this size requires extraordinary professional leadership. That high quality leadership is provided by Dr. Rudy H. Coronado Bastarrachea, the hospital’s General Director. Dr. Coronado’s administrative healthcare credentials are impressive. He has a Masters degree in Public Health and an M.D. in general surgery. He has served as the Chief of Sanitary Jurisdiction in Valladolid, as the Director of Planning for the Secretary of Health in the State of Yucatan, and as the General Director of hospitals in Ticul, Tekax, and Valladolid.
Proud and Ready to Serve
After completing an almost two hour tour of the new hospital, I asked Dr. Coronado what he was most proud of regarding the new hospital. He responded, “Two things have created a special feeling of pride. One is the professional ability and conduct of the hospital employees. The second is the opportunity to work in a modern, clean facility with the latest technology.” He concluded by stating, “Being able to provide quality care to human beings who might be suffering with various health problems is the ultimate goal of my entire staff.”
If you wish to visit the hospital in Valladolid, you can find it at the following address:
General Hospital de Valladolid
Avenue Poligono Chanyodzonot
Valladolid, Yucatan C. P. 97780
Note: The author speaks some Spanish, but is not competent to discuss medical technology in Spanish. He is grateful to Ms. Andrea Lorkowski, who served as his professional interpreter during the hospital tour.