Medical Care

In Mexico, prescriptions are not required for many medications, including antibiotics.  (Prescriptions ARE required for narcotics, however.)  If you happen to get sick while on vacation, you can simply go to the nearest pharmacy and get medicine.  Most of the time, you can tell the pharmacist your symptoms and they will tell you which medications they recommend.  If you know what you normally take for a sinus infection, for example, just go into the pharmacy and tell them what you need.  This is a more economical option then calling a doctor to come to your hotel, or making a visit to the hospital, although doctor visits and even emergency room visits are not very expensive in Cancun.  (A visit to the emergency room at Galenia, Cancun’s newest and nicest hospital, is approximately $75 USD, plus the cost of any tests and medications prescribed while you are there.)

Medications do not have the same names in Mexico as in the US, or other parts of the world.  It’s a good idea to look up the Spanish names of medicines you may need.  If you are allergic to medications, it is a great idea to carry a list of the medications you can and, more importantly, CANNOT take.  If you suddenly become ill and have to be taken to the hospital, the doctors will need to know if you have any medical allergies.  While the doctors at Galenia,  Hospiten, or Amerimed may speak English perfectly, they might not be aware of what medicines are called in other countries (even though many of the generic names are similar to it’s Spanish counterpart).   It’s better to have to the list of medications ready (in English and Spanish) than to risk an allergic reaction which could easily ruin your vacation.

Many pharmacies will deliver medicine to your hotel 24-hours a day.  If you don’t speak Spanish, you can have the concierge at your hotel take care of it for you.  Your concierge, or front desk staff will also be able to contact a doctor that will come to the hotel, or arrange for a taxi to take you to the emergency room.  Of course, depending on the urgency/seriousness of the situation, calling an ambulance may be your best bet.  Again, if speaking Spanish is a problem, have the front desk or concierge make the call for you.

If you have an ailment or  medical condition that requires more than a quick trip to the pharmacy, here are a list of local hospitals.  There are more hospitals in town, but these are the nicest, best-equiped facilities in the area. All are located in downtown Cancun.  Both Galenia and Hospiten are along the lines of private hospitals in the US.  The receptionist may not speak English (and all of your paperwork will be in Spanish), but there are usually doctors and nurses that speak English.

Hospitals in Cancun:

Amerimed American Hospitals

Located in Plaza Las Americas mall complex, on Avenida Nichupte (between Ave. Bonampak & Ave. Tulum)

Phone:  (998) 881-3400

Galenia Hospital

Avenida Tulum, Lote 1, Manzana 1, SM-12, Fracc. St. Mary Sike (Esquina Nizuc)

Phone: (998) 891-5200

Hospiten Cancun

Avenida Bonampak, Lote 7, Manzana 2, SM-10

Phone:  (998) 881-3700

Hospitals in Riviera Maya:

Hospiten Riviera Maya (located in Playa del Carmen)

C. Balamcanché Lote 1, MZA.30, Carr. Federal, Playacar Fase II, Playa del Carmen

Phone:  (984) 803-1002