Our Trip to Hospital Britanico

Geneva has had a cold for a few days and we were told by her Jardin (daycare) that she may have conjunctivitis (pink eye). We kept her home on Wednesday but by Thursday morning it was worse so off to Hospital Britanico (British Hospital) we went. It is located at Av. Italia 2420, just a short cab ride from our house.

one entrance to Hospital Britanico

My impression was very positive, as it should be. Britanico is the premier hospital in Uruguay.  Modern buildings, very clean, organized, friendly.  We've heard very good things about this hospital with the only major drawback that they, ironically, don't speak much English at the British Hospital.  Understanding all of the new medical terms in Spanish wasn't easy at times, but we managed.

There were several waits and stops during our houspital adventure. It took us approximately 4 hours round trip and our visit went something like this:

  1. Find the emergency "window" which is unmarked
  2. Wait in the emergency waiting room
  3. Wait in the shared pediatric exam room
  4. Exam by doctor #1 with prescription for eye drops
  5. Wait in Emergency waiting room for referral to ear specialist
  6. Walk about 2 blocks to specialist building
  7. Check in and wait in specialist's waiting room
  8. See ear specialist to confirm ear infection (Dr. Suarez spoke perfect English!)
  9. We don't know Geneva's exact weight.  Go downstairs to pediatrics to have her weighed (13 kg)
  10. Back upstairs for prescription for antibiotics
  11. Pay for specialist visit UY$2000 ( US $83) Wow, look who gets the big bucks!
  12. Back to main hospital to pay bill for emergency visit UY$599.62  (US $24.98) and show proof that we paid the specialist.
  13. Stop at the front to get information about joining Hospital Britanico
  14. Stop to the pharmacy to get the 2 prescriptions UY$485  (US $20.21)

Brad at the emergency windowWe currently have long-term travel insurance which has covered our first few months here, but such a small cost for our appointment Thursday is not worth making a claim. If we had private health insurance through this hospital or a private insurer in Uruguay, the out of pocket costs would be GREATLY reduced, including prescriptions. The coverage at Hospital Britanico is a cafeteria plan, where you can choose to add on ambulance service, coverage in the USA during travel or any number of additional services. For our family of three, the basic premium for Hospital Britanico is:

Child: UY$1395/mo

Adult age 30-39: UY$1974/mo

Total:   UY $5343   (US $222.62/month for the three of us)

Once we add other services on to this, which I am sure we will, cost will go up, but it is a far cry from being on an individual plan in the US and paying $1100/month for just Geneva and me (plus prescriptions and copays).

There are many other options here for insurance which we will explore in the coming month. Between Mutualistas, an individual hospital membership (like Britanico) and the public health care system, I am sure there will be an option that will fit our needs.