I had to get my ‘Windows to the Soul’ checked yesterday. It is time for some new glasses, so I made an appointment with Dr. Tony (Dr. Tonath Azcarate Coral) at Star Medica in Altabrisa. Dr. Tony was trained as an Ophthalmologist (not Optometrist) in the USA, and speaks fluent English, which is a good thing for this old gringo with his fractured Spanish . I had met Dr. Tony on previous social occasions, through mutual friends, and felt comfortable going to him.
I could have ridden my scooter for free, but it’s a long drive across town (basically from Centro to Altabrisa). Remember, Merida is a city of almost 1-million people. Also, I could have taken the bus (assuming I could figure out the bus route) for about $1.00 USD, but I elected to go by taxi for the speed and convenience. The 20-minute drive cost me $75 MXN/$5.83 USD. Can you just imagine what the same taxi ride would have cost me in the USA? That is one thing that really impresses me about Mexico: the relatively low cost of various forms of transportation (from walking, horse drawn carriages, collectivos, buses to taxis). They have an excellent and diverse infrastructure relative to transportation.
Star Medica is a State-of-the-Art hospital located in the northeast corner of Merida. It rivals anything you would find in the United States or Canada (and would surpass many). CMA hospital here in Centro is the same, but on a much smaller scale. I spent the entire morning with Dr. Tony (approximately 1-1/2 hours), and he performed every test possible to determine the health of my eyes and provide me with a new prescription. The cost for this in-depth examination was $600 MXN/$46.66 USD. This wasn’t my co-pay, this was the entire cost. Like wow.
Now I just need to go to a dispensing optician for my new glasses (frames and lenses). Depending on the bells & whistles you can buy new glasses on the cheap, or you can spend about what you would pay in the States for something more stylish and durable. I will report back to you on price when I make my final decision. I will probably try the opticians in either Gran Plaza or Liverpool shopping malls; Optica Molina was also highly recommended.