I was 18 weeks pregnant when we met our doctor for the first time. He is very nice. He does not speak much English but understands most words. With my limited medical Spanish we were able to communicate some. Our friends came along and were able to help translate a lot.
His office was in a building with many other types of physicians. Each office was just a door in a hallway. Outside of the doors were a few chairs for waiting and a secretary's desk, if he had a secretary. Behind the door to my doctor's office he had a very nice desk and chairs for two people. Behind the desk was a partial wall. There were two exam tables behind the partial wall. He did not have a nurse or assistant, so he took my weight in kilograms and pounds. Then on the first exam table he took my blood pressure and used a doppler to hear the fetal heart tones. Next he moved me to the other exam table where he performed an ultrasound. Actually two ultrasounds. He had tried to record a dvd for me to take home and it did not work so he tried a second time. The second time did not work either, but he had other patients waiting so we needed to go. We spent at least 45 minutes with him and for the whole process he only charged around $30 dollars.
Two other differences I noted in the care given where the lack of routine urine dips. He asked me if I had symptoms of an infection but did not check my urine. In the states they routinely check for glucose and protein. He stated that at 24 weeks he would recheck my lab work. This brought up another subject. I am Rh negative. In the states at 28 weeks and then within 72 postpartum Rhogam is given. I asked him if he would give Rhogam at 28 weeks. He stated only if I wanted it or my Coomb's test at 24 weeks came back positive. He stated the reason for both of these differences was that it is a poor country so things are done differently. I am okay with that. But I did not ask if him if he heard of an asymptomatic urinary tract infection. At my next visit.
That is quite a change from the States. Not to mention the amount of time and price for the doctor visit. The ultrasound which could cost $1,000 in the U.S.A. Even though this is a private doctor, there is quite a difference when insurance companies are not controlling prices in a country.
From my understanding there are three different types of health care you can receive in Mexico. One is the public system for the poor or those without a way to pay. This would be equivalent to a county hospital in the states. But much worse from what I hear. I guess it depends on your county :). These prices are much cheaper. The second is a hospital that working people can go to. The government pays for this hospital. I don't know if the employers contribute some how or not. The third are private hospitals run by individual physicians or groups. These anyone who has the money can go. I will try to find more information on this subject, perhaps my doctor will be able to explain at my next visit.