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The other day I was passing by our medical clinic, and the medical student attending there was unoccupied. I thought that I hadn’t had my blood pressure measured in almost a year and so asked him if he would take it. The result was very high. The doctor gave me a diuretic and told me to visit her office in the afternoon. There, the results were even higher, dangerously high. She sent me to emergency room of the local private hospital best known for their cardiac care.

After a short rest, my blood pressure in the hospital was down to borderline-high, much reduced from the pressure in the doctor’s office. They sent me home and asked me to come back the next day. Again, the pressure was down but they thought they should run some tests just to make sure everything was okay. The tests came back completely normal, and the cardiologist decided to adjust my medicine to try and reduce the pressure back to normal.

The amazing thing to me, in my first real encounter with Bolivian medical care, was the prices:

  • Emergency Room visit: $39
  • Blood tests: $68
  • ECG/EKG: $13
  • Echocardiogram: $52
  • Cardiologist appointment: Free

The whole deal cost less than $200. Can you imagine what this would have cost in the States?

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