In the U.S. and Canada, doctors, labs, radiology offices and treatment and testing facilities are required to maintain your records. Testing and rehabilitation facilities report the findings and treatments to your ordering physician. But in Mexico, these records are given to the patient who in turn is responsible for reporting to the doctor. Generally, the testing facilities or doctors don’t maintain these records; it is the responsibility of the patient. Additionally many doctors do not maintain detailed medical records of your visits or treatment plans. It is recommended that you maintain a log of what has transpired during the treatment that day and keep it with your medical records. Also keep the copies of your prescriptions for all medications.
Additionally, if you have been treated for a chronic condition in your home country, had surgery, have had adverse reactions to drugs, or any other situation that would have an effect on your continued care in Mexico, it is important that you have copies of your previous medical records available to your treating physician. This is especially important if you are to have surgery, chemotherapy, or are placed on a new drug treatment plan. For convenience, many medical copy services will put your records on a CD. It is recommended that you keep an original copy and make copies as needed to distribute to your doctors.
Life Saver Alert offers a medical alert bracelet and a USB drive stick pre-programmed to fill out with your medical information. This is small enough to carry on a key chain and can contain your entire medical history.
For ease of noting your history and treatment, we are providing a record-keeping aid called “My History of Medical Care in Mexico”. Use it to record your medications, even those you purchase over the counter, any adverse reactions to medications, your doctor visits and treatments plans as a result of those visits, and other relevant information that could impact future care. This will also be helpful should you return to your home country for continued or additional medical care.
With thanks to Dr. Ricardo Gordillo for his editorial support.