Pharmacies are prevalent in Mexican cities and most medications are available in Mexico. There are 24 hour pharmacies which can be found throughout Mexico. Not all pharmacies have English speaking staff, so expats might prefer visiting pharmacies which are attached to larger hospitals, where there is generally a higher chance of English being spoken.
Some pharmacies have medical clinics attached to them, in which doctors can provide medical consultations.
Although Mexico is mostly safe, some health risks do exist. There is a risk of contracting diseases spread via mosquito bites, such as the Chikungunya and Zika viruses as well as Dengue fever. No anti-viral treatments are available for these infections so prevention by wearing long-sleeved clothes or applying mosquito repellent is necessary. Although there is a low risk of Malaria, expats should take anti-malarial precautions.
Expats should also see a doctor before travelling to ensure that basic vaccinations are up-to-date, specifically Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Typhoid. Expats travelling outside the main Mexican cities should note that Rabies and Diphtheria can be found in rural areas.
911 is the general emergency number in Mexico. Not all operators speak English, so it might be useful for expats to learn enough Spanish to memorise key medical phrases and to be able to explain their location. Paramedics are relatively well trained and some private hospitals have their own ambulance services.
Ambulance response times vary by region and can be slow in certain areas. Consequently, many private ambulances operate in Mexico which eases the demand placed on public emergency services. However, these private ambulances charge huge fees.
For roadside assistance, many expats rely on the ‘Green Angels’, which is a bilingual and tourist-orientated service that provides mechanical, first aid and general emergency assistance. They can be reached at 078 from a Mexican number.