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.