More Health Care Savings

by | Nov 29, 2011 | Archives

We had a huge response to our recent Ecuador dermatologist message about health care savings by Glenn Sterling.    See how to obtain contact details below.

Ecuador Living Club members can obtain the dermatologist contact details at the password protected club site.


First, let me outline the fact that there are many health services in Imbabura Province.  For example Cotacachi hospital was founded in 1977 and has both a vision and mission statement. The vision statement is telling of the ambition and pride everyone attached to the hospital feels.

“To convert Cotacachi into a healthy county in which the multi-ethnic peoples live in social, spiritual, material and environmental harmony exercising shared rights and responsabilities in a participative democracy applying principles and values of equality and solidarity prioritizing the promotion of health with universal access to health services of warmth and quality using both western and traditional knowledge and practices.”

There are doctors providing consultations to the local citizens, a specialist doctor for children. Services include vaccinations, pregnancy care and general medical practice.


There are four emergency doctors and an operating theater with a general surgeon.

This Ecuador dermatologist and many doctors and dentists in the province of Imbabura province have been helping us and creating huge medical savings for our readers over many years.

Another reader wrote about the dermatologist:  (bolds are mine).  “Dear Gary and Merri, I have been in Cotacachi for several weeks and have watched many happy travelers come and go. Some came for the classes, some for the dentist and some just to have a place to rest after spending many months at hard work. After hearing the exclamations of a few who had wonderful, therapeutic dermatological facials from an office in Ibarra, I decided to try one for myself.

“My intention was to simply get the facial, but after arriving and meeting the doctor, I was so impressed with his professional demeanor and his spotless, modern office that I mentioned a cyst that had been bothering me for several years. Imaging my surprise when he said, ‘Of course, let’s take care of it right now.’ In less than half an hour I had the cyst excised painlessly and was bandaged and ready to go. After asking me about any allergies to drugs that I might have, I was handed instructions and a prescription. My total so far – a remarkable $40.00.

“Our wonderful driver stopped at the “farmacia” (pharmacy) and took my prescriptions to be filled. For a Z-Pak of zithromycin I paid a whopping $14.00. Along with a prescription for a pain medication, an antiseptic wash and bandages, my farmacia total was $27.00 and some change.

“Before traveling to Ecuador I had checked on having the cyst removed by a dermatologist in Texas.  “Here are my savings – both doctors, in the US and in Ecuador, are specialists.

Low Cost Health Care Comparison
San Antonio Dermatologist                        Ecuador Dermatologist

$1500 – for simple surgery                                       $40.00
$ 125 – antibiotics and pain medication         $27.35
Taxi                                                                                            $12.50
$1625                                                                                        $79.85

“Even factoring in my trip to Ecuador and a hotel bill, I am way ahead. My doctor was polite, efficient and well trained. His office was clean, bright and had the latest medical equipment. I was not asked for any insurance or any money prior to the procedure.

“I did not have the facial that day, but my friend did and was more than thrilled at her experience. The cost of the facial – $20. Mine is scheduled for next week!  Thanks,  for doing the research and making the information available for those who come and visit. In just a few minutes something that was not dangerous, but had bothered me for years, was gone, with a tiny incision and a stitch!”

Access to good health care is vital and should be enjoyed by all.  Yet it is not.  It had been a Western birthright… each generation living longer than the last.  New research shows this is no longer true for all.  Government studies show that there are widening gaps in life expectancy based on income, race, sex, education and geography.

There are two Americas measured by wealth and  health, and the distortions are growing.

A government-sponsored study by Harvard researchers found that life expectancy actually declined in a substantial number of counties from 1983 to 1999, particularly for women. Most of the counties with declines are in the Deep South, along the Mississippi River, and in Appalachia, as well as in the southern Plains and Texas.”

The article went on to say that the people of Appalachia used to be among the longest lived. I can believe it. There is a family cemetery here on our farm. These five headstones show the people lived to be 86, 91, 95, 100 and 115!  The 115 year old lived from 1794 to 1909. I  wonder what type of medical insurance she had back here in these hills?  Here is that cemetery.


This problem of declining service is growing in more sectors than just American health care.

This growing gap is a concern on many fronts…but means, that in many parts of the Western world, good health care is only available to an increasingly smaller portion of top earners.

This is not so in Cotacachi and Imbabura province where health care is getting better and prices are astoundingly low compared to the West.

There is every type of medicine available, beginning with the most modern hospitals.


Merri fell and dislocated her arm years ago in Quito.  Here is what I wrote at the time.

Everything about this experience was wonderful (as much as a trip to the emergency room can be) from the many people who stopped in the streets genuinely offering help to her, the very understanding taxi driver, rushing wrong ways down streets, taking every short cut, sympathetic and determined to get us there fast.

At Metropolitano Hospital things really excelled. An orthopedic surgeon met us at the car. The emergency room was calm. Nurses and Doctors took immediate action, treated us all gently, letting all of us in the treatment room, discussing what had happened, what was going on, how they would help.

The dislocation was severe. She did not want to have any drugs or be put to sleep, so they called their top specialist. He was in the middle of Sunday lunch in the country but rushed right down (and stayed three hours to make sure, after the final xrays that everything was okay). Dr. Xavier Ramos, an Orthopedic Surgeon, had studied at the University of Madrid and spent 10 years resetting bones without any anesthesia, so quickly, confidently and easily relocated the elbow without once asking her to change her mind and accept the drugs.

Not once until the ordeal was over did anyone mention costs, who or how we were going to pay. The bill for the emergency room, two emergency room doctors, the cast, six X rays, blood tests and miscellany came to a paltry $47.82. The specialist’s afternoon cost $100.

There was no push, brusqueness or intimidation felt. We were all treated with courtesy, respect and the whole family was involved, informed and welcomed through the entire process. This helped Merri and me know and think it was good for us too, being there and not worrying in the waiting room. Even more surprising were our Ecuadorian friends who showed up to drive us back to the hotel. How they found out is a mystery still, but the ride so warming, making us feel at home.

What is the price for this genuine sweetness, respect for the patient’s wishes and gentle care? This is something money cannot buy.

Another readers shared this story. “Gary, Just a quick little medical story. When Judy and I were in Ecuador about a year ago we had this experience. We were coming back from the village and I was carrying a glass bottle in a paper bag. Coming up some stone stairs I tripped and fell. My hand landed on the bottle which broke and sliced my thumb. It was a pretty good gash and was bleeding like crazy. Judy insisted I go to the local clinic. We called a taxi, the person working the desk went with us.  After we arrived, the owner of the hotel came to make sure we were okay.

“A wonderful female doctor and her nurse assistant, took me in, laid me back and very gently talked to me and looked at my cut. They proceeded to very professionally and gracefully numb my thumb, and sew it up with four stitches.

“Excellent treatment, and when I asked them how much I owed them the bill was $5.00 USD. I was shocked and think I gave them a $10 tip which they were very grateful for. A few days later I went back to have them check it to make sure all was well before heading back to the states. There was a different doctor. He unwrapped it, checked it out, cleaned it and re-wrapped it. The cost, an amazing $.50. Yes that was fifty cents. Simple story, but I was blown away at the low cost, and the gentle professional manner in which they treated me. Sincerely,”

Another reader shared this: “I spent a couple of hours helping a guest who had an insect bite that became infected. We went to the hospital by taxi – $1. Waited half an hour in emergency, then a very sweet lady doctor and slightly sterner but also very pleasant nurse proceeded to clean and disinfect the wound on the swollen leg. Cost of treatment – $3 !! (It’s so low you feel kind of embarrassed). Then we were led by the nurse to the in-hospital pharmacy and bought anti-biotic pills, an antibiotic cream and a painkiller – total $5.10. Then we were shown out of the hospital and jumped back in a cab for El Meson – another $1. Grand Total $10.10. In the US this would have cost $150 for similar attention before any medicines were bought. That’s inflation busting – Ecuadorian style!”

Here is yet another story about Cotacachi health savings. “Hi Merri, I want to thank you for including me in the trip to the wonderful Ecuador dermatologist in Otavalo last month! I declare the surgery he performed for $40 to remove the ugly growth on my face, a complete success!

“As of today, there is no further trace of the growth or the surgery!!!!!   This is such a blessing.  Even though US docs proclaimed this cosmetic, it was always a drag to see this mark any time I looked in a mirror, and now it is completely gone.

“Here is another example of the wonders of high quality health professionals in Ecuador performing their work with the latest equipment with skill and compassion.  Please convey my gratitude to the doctor the next time you see him!  Twelve years ago I was told by docs in the US that to remove this growth would cost around $1200, so I never did anything about it since it was  ‘elective’ and not covered by insurance.

“I really appreciate your finding this excellent doctor and putting me in contact with him!

“We send our best wishes to you, Gary, Ma, and the fabulous El Meson staff!  We miss you all and hope to see you again soon!  Fondly”.

Many readers have written asking for the address and contact of the dermatologist above.

Ecuador Living Club members can see the entire article and Dr. Rommel’s Contact details at the Club’s password protected site.

The Ateam Ecuador in Cotacachi can help Ecuador Living Club members you make appointments with Dr. Rommel, and other Ecuador dentists, doctors and shamans.

If you are a free Ecuador Living subscriber, we can help in several ways.

First we work hard to happily provide a free daily message and over 2,000 free pages of information in our archives about Ecuador which you can access at

You can use the search engine at each site to check phrases related to any questions you have.

Second, we offer our Ecuador Living Club which provides password protected access for personal replies to your questions and puts you in touch with our contacts developed over 15 years… guides, attorneys, doctors, dentists, alternative and complimentary healers, real estate sellers and renters, guides, airlines, hotels and so much more.

We have a team in Ecuador to serve you… the Ateam Ecuador who can put you in touch with the many contacts they have or search for answers to your questions.

Club membership provides an internet address that we monitor and answer to provide personal responses to your questions.

See more about Ecuador Living Club member here.

Third, your Ecuador A Team also helps you gain safety, efficiency, comfort and savings in Ecuador.

For example we help club members gain hotel discounts in the most visited parts of Ecuador.

One club member just wrote:  Hi, I am in Cuenca with my family, wife and 2 little ones. Was wondering if you could help me with a driver from Quito airport at 9:20 am, Friday August 12, to Hotel Land of The Sun. Want to go to the markets Saturday on the way back to Quito and the Radisson (thanks for the great rate!). Will need a driver for that also. I was suppose to do your shopping deal after the Ultimate Event in Feb but missed the Event at the last minute, death in the family. Anyway, any info will be appreciated. We stayed at Palmuzul 3 nites at 40% off and reduced rates at the Radisson in Quito and La Piedra in Bahia de Caraquez. Thanks for already saving us a fortune! Looking forward to seeing Cotacachi before we head back.Thanks again.

Helping members find real estate to buy and rent is one part of our premium service.  If you have an interest in traveling, investing, living, buying property or doing business in Ecuador, membership in the Ecuador Living Club brings many benefits.

One huge benefit in using our service versus relying on brokers or travel agents is that we are not trying to sell real estate.  For our modest subscription you get our honest opinion based on 43 years of international business and 15 years residence in Ecuador.  You gain access to our extensive contacts plus you get to share the input from over 30,000 subscribers who continually let us know what they see hear and experience good and bad. We help our members to learn Ecuador’s real estate market in the most efficient way.

We share the experiences we have gained living, traveling and working globally for 42 years and have been investing living and doing business in Ecuador for 15 years. We have an active Ecuador business and have personally purchased a 962 acre hacienda, condos in the mountains, a house, a hotel plus condos and apartments on the beach.  Our Ecuador Living service shares our continual research and experiences in global business, living and investing in Ecuador.

For our modest membership fee you immediately gain numerous benefits.

Fourth, part of your subscription includes a copy of the $49 page report “Ecuador  Land of the Sun.” We email it to you at no added cost.

Fifth, you are provided a personal password to receive exclusive updates about what is going on in Ecuador… plus gain contacts and personal access to the Ateam Ecuador.

Sixth, you are entitled to a free night’s stay (worth $72) at Inn Land of the Sun (Formerly Meson de las Flores) in Cotacachi. (the fourth night is free the first time three nights are booked).

You are also entitled to free use of wireless internet at the Inn and the VOIP phone system at the inn (free calls to Europe, Canada and the US) even if you do not stay at the hotel.


Photo by Glenn Sterling.  Courtyard of Inn Land of the Sun

See more on Inn Land of the Sun here.

Fwd: la-mirage-dining-images

The Relais & Chateux La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa in Cotacachi also offers upgrades on a space available and other benefits.

See the latest on La Mirage here.

Ecuador Living Club members receive  discounts at great Quito hotels..

Most people who visit in Quito stay at least two nights (arriving and leaving) so the hotel savings alone can exceed the cost of club membership.

One of the hotels is Quito Stubel Suites & Café.


See more on the Stubel and its incredible views here.


The other Quito hotel benefits at Boutique Hotel Mansion del Angel.

In Cuenca two hotels offer discounts to our readers.


Villa Nova Inn

El Dorado

In Bahia Hotel La Piedra


All of this for a full  Ecuadorian Membership is only $119!

Get an Ecuador Living Club member here.