Boobs and balls

Waiting for my lovely wife to finish a date with her dentist, I picked up a brochure from the adjoining hospital, a large modern facility in the state capital.

The hospital, named Star Médica, is part of a spreading national chain. I expect to die there one day if I don’t do it at home or trapped in twisted car metal.

The way these people drive, you never know.


The tall, white hospital has recently undergone extensive remodeling, plus they offer new services, some of which are listed in the brochure, including prices, tax included.

Here are some of the procedures and prices, which I am writing in U.S. dollars using 14-1 as the exchange rate. It’s been hovering around 14-1 lately.

1. Vasectomy: $350. I got a vasectomy when I was just 24 years old. I have no idea what I paid for it. I imagine an insurance company paid.

2. Heart catheterization: $1,070. I had one of these babies too, maybe five years after the unrelated vasectomy. Turns out my heart problem was fairly minor. By the way, a heart catheterization is an emotionally creepy thing to undergo. You’re awake.

3. Liposuction: $785. I have never done this, and never will. I suggest laying off the double-bacon cheeseburgers instead.

4. Breast implants: $570. I have never done this either, and never will. The brochure does not say if the price is per boob or if it’s a pair price. It does say the price of the silicon bag is extra, so the $570 just gets you the surgery. I’m betting it’s for two big boobs, or you would look lopsided.


5. Pacemaker: $500. My mother had a pacemaker installed when she was about 65. She lived to 90, and not too happily those last few years, but her heart kept on pounding. You might want to think it through before making yourself a bionic person.

6. Tubal ligation: $1,140. This is, of course, the female version of a vasectomy. We men, you may have noticed, pay far less to get clipped. It’s unfair. Blame Republicans. They hate women.

7. Hernia repair: $715. I had this done while in high school. The hernia was congenital, which is to say I had been born with it. I don’t think women ever get hernias, but I could be mistaken. I did not know I had a hernia. A doctor found it one day while he was, you know, jiggling my huevos.

I bet hospitals above the Rio Bravo don’t have this type of brochure sitting on a table at the entrance. By the way, you can pay with a major credit card over a six-month period. And there is no interest added if you pay in a timely manner.

18 thoughts on “Boobs and balls”

  1. When I broke my right ankle, I was curious how much I would have had to pay in cash if the services were provided in The States. All I could get were estimates because, as I was repeatedly told, there is no cash price; no one pays directly. And we wonder why the American system, where the consumer is isolated from the actual cost of services, is hay-wire. Adam Smith could spot it three thousand miles away.


    1. Steve: In the U.S. everything possible is done to hide the cost of medical services to the patients. Incredible. You sure won’t find any brochures at the door with prices clearly stated.


  2. Here’s hoping you neither end it at Star or in the twisted metal. Much better at home in your sleep, I think. It seems, genetically, you’re good until 90.

    A comment on the twisted metal: I have driven well over 10,000 miles on the back roads of Mexico and, surprisingly, find Mexican drivers uniquely amazing. They careen around blind curves and pass other vehicles at 80 mph, assuming that anyone coming head-on will get out of their way. There have been many occasions I did get out of their way but they have afforded me the same courtesy. In all those travels, I have only seen one fatal accident. I suspect I’ve been fortunate. The slow and macho trucks are an entirely different conversation.


  3. A recent office visit to see my doctor was billed to my insurance company at a bit more than $900, which then took about a 50% discount and paid out about $450.

    I spent about 20 minutes with the doctor and had a couple tests done.

    It’s staggering how much healthcare costs.


    Kim G
    DF, Mexico
    Where we are getting soaked in the real sense by the heavy afternoon rains.


    1. Kim: So that doctor sent a bill for what you can get not one but two vasectomies down here, and still go home with some fat change. And all for 20 minutes of his time.

      Healthcare costs are staggering? Not down here.

      Of course, what your doc charged had to take into consideration his sky-high malpractice coverage premium. He has bills to pay.

      Shoot the Gringo lawyers, I say.


  4. I recently saw a claim paid by my insurance to the hospital where our son was born. Along with other nursery expenses, a $292 claim was paid for a circumcision. But his foreskin is neatly intact. The insurance company paid for service never rendered. But they never inspected his huevos either.


    1. Voz: By not snipping your boy’s tool, you have raised yourself very high in my estimation. Circumcision is a brutal, totally unnecessary torture from centuries back and based on Jewish religious practices which were, in turn, based on sanitary and educational issues of those distant days. That circumcision is still widely done in the 21st Century is an abomination.

      I take pride in having convinced my sister-in-law not to abuse
      my favorite nephew in that manner. He is now 9 years old and intact.

      For others, let’s make it clear that your son and that hospital charge took place in the United States.


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