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Cuenca Hospital – Mount Sinai Hospital in Cuenca

Posted in: Cuenca Ecuador, Living in Ecuador

cuenca-hospitalBryan recently needed some allergy testing, and routine medical procedures, we were referred to a specialist at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Cuenca.

The Mount Sinai Hospital is very modern, bright and clean.  There are two large complexes, the main one faces Avenida Solano, a main avenue in Cuenca, and the other directly across from it is on a smaller side street (Miguel Cordero).  Parking is not a problem because there is a paid parking lot right next to the complex on the side street.

Our family doctor referred us and set up the initial appointment, so for the first visit we had a scheduled appointment, date and time . . . but for subsequent visits we were simply told which days the doctor was available.  We were then free to choose the day and time we found most convenient, when we arrived we took a seat in the waiting room and awaited our place in the order of arrival.  The wait was not long.  The specialist was very professional, and spoke fluent English which was a great bonus for us.

We were very happy with the experience, and we’ve been told by many that this hospital is the best in Cuenca.  We have heard that it’s also the most expensive, as is the large pharmacy in the down stairs entrance of the main complex.  The complex across the street also has a pharmacy, and we were surprised to find a significant difference in the price of the medication we needed when we checked into it.

The appointments cost about $20 per visit, which was on par with appointments I had in a different clinic with a specialist in a different field.  Cost may depend on the type of procedure required, but we are not really sure, we haven’t had many problems requiring medical care since we’ve been here.

Here are some pictures of the complex so you can get an idea of what it’s like.  Overall we were very happy with the care we received, it was the same or better than similar healthcare procedures in Canada.  The equipment was very modern, the staff and doctors were very caring and thorough.

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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad – Ecuador’s largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

48 comments… add one
  • Rob Jacobs Jul 27, 2017, 2:31 pm

    Looking for a good hepatologist for my wife. We are planning a move to Cuenca but need a doctor to oversee her treatment.

  • Cathy Jul 28, 2014, 8:11 am

    I am trying to find out the cost for cardiac testing such as ECHO, Nuclear Stress Tess, Lower Extremity Doppler to check for blockages in the legs. We have a high deductible in the US and are planning on moving to Ecuador later this year an are trying to decide whether to make a trip there to get these done or do them in the States. In cost information would be greatly appreciated.

  • Carrie Jun 2, 2014, 8:41 am

    Actually. We just went a month ago to see an allergist and the cost for the consult was now up to $40! (first time we went a year ago was $25…so things are raising fast for some reason!)

    • Bryan Haines Jun 2, 2014, 9:25 am

      That’s significant. I wonder what is causing the increase?

  • Jason Jun 1, 2014, 5:09 pm

    $20 for a specialist is very good. In Guayaquil you can expect to pay between $50 and $60 for a good doctor.

    • Bryan Haines Jun 1, 2014, 5:12 pm

      We’ve paid from $15 – 35 in Cuenca. $20-25 seems to be the standard.

  • Skip Jul 29, 2013, 10:47 am

    Do any of the doctors or medical facilities in Cuenca accept Tricare insurance?

  • Ralph Sabean Nov 22, 2012, 11:15 am

    I always enjoy reading these comments on different topics Hospital, traveling, Rooming accommodation, your experiences in these fields and even cost of living. All this and some warnings about unsafe areas which in Nova Scotia there are even more in cities than in Cuenca. Good Work Bryan and Dena
    Positive and negative are necessary facts of life everything is not always easy.

  • thane Nov 12, 2012, 12:02 pm

    This article fails to meet the basic criteria of writing. who, what, WHERE is the hospital located?

    • Bryan Haines Nov 12, 2012, 12:15 pm

      Hey Thane – sorry that you seem to have missed the basic criteria of blog commenting: READING the post first. You’ll see location in the post above. It states that it is on:

      Avenida Solano, a main avenue in Cuenca

      I did just add a link to the their site to help other readers.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Bryan

  • Thomas Oct 25, 2012, 6:25 pm

    I am retired from the Army, do they take tri-care for life there. I am 69 years of age.

  • Michael Waggoner Jul 17, 2012, 7:28 pm

    I am 65+ and have two health related questions prior to my wife and I moving to Cuenca…please reply to me directly at my email address above.

    1) I take Lipitor by prescription in USA to lower cholesterol…is it available in Cuenca? or is there a generic only?
    2) can a person needing serious care actually travel to the Cuenca airport and purchase a ticket there to travel to Miami, USA?? For security reasons, most airlines require online ticket purchase.

    Michael Waggoner

  • Judy Jul 8, 2012, 9:12 pm

    Hi,
    Is it possible for American trained registered nurses to work in Ecuador? I have been a nurse for over 20 years and have always been interested in moving to Ecuador.
    Thanks so much,
    Judy

    • Kathleen Woods May 24, 2013, 7:55 pm

      I would like to know this information as well.

      • SophiaRN Aug 15, 2016, 3:17 pm

        Hello!

        I would also like to know this information. I am 100% willing to learn Spanish as a speaking/reading language as well as for healthcare purposes.

        Someone get back to us!!!!!!

  • Dennis Gargiulo Apr 18, 2012, 10:46 am

    Hi, I was wondering if there were any opportunities for Respiratory Therapists in Cuenca Hospitals. I speak some Spanish, and could pick it up quickly. How would I go about this? Thanks for any info, Dennis

  • Bill Beard Feb 29, 2012, 5:48 pm

    Bryan,

    Hey, just loving your website and blogs and all of it. My family and I are coming in July to visit the area………. with the thought of moving there. We’ve been reading your blogs and books and anything else we can get our hands on.

    I have two questions that I’m curious about, though. One, what does it cost for health insurance in Cuenca, approximately, for a family of three; and, two, if I end up moving there I will need to work via the internet and transfer large files via the internet. Ran into any problems doing that down there?

    Thanks so much, Bill:)

    • Bryan Haines Mar 2, 2012, 9:26 am

      Hi Bill, good question about health insurance. We are in the process of getting insurance ourselves and we will publish it all in a few weeks.

      About internet, its good in the cities. We had some issues a few years ago, but its stable and fast now. You shouldn’t have any problems.

      Thanks,

      Bryan

  • Kevin Feb 28, 2012, 5:56 pm

    Do you have any dentists you recommend in Cuenca? I’m looking for someone with modern equipment, but who’s not going to charge alot for gringos! They don’t have to speak English either.

    I’ve had a tough time finding recommendations for dentists in Cuenca, but I need a few root canals and crowns.

    Thanks much, love the blog!

    • Bryan Haines Feb 28, 2012, 6:06 pm

      Hi Kevin, just today we launched a new site for our dentist. Ecuador Dental Care. We’ve been using him for a few months now and we are very happy. He has one price list and speaks English. There is a map and a ton of videos on his site.

    • Dr. Oscar Alvarez Feb 28, 2012, 6:29 pm

      Hi Kevin.

      I am Dr. Oscar Alvarez, I am dentist, specialist in prosthetics (crowns). Jobs in: Consultorios Monte Sinai (Clinics Mount Sinai). 5th floor, office 507. Solano Avenue and Miguel Cordero street.

      My phone is: 096189743 (cel) – 2814813 (ext 1507) (of).

      I have many American patients, perhaps you know them.

      I hope your call to make a revision, clinical examination and cleaning for free.
      Greetings.
      Dr. Oscar Alvarez…

      • bettye riggs Jan 7, 2013, 4:06 pm

        is there a list of fees available

    • ecbound May 17, 2017, 4:25 pm

      You might consider reading a Weston A. Price Foundation article and a mercola.com article on root canals first. They leave bacteria in the body most of the time, that contribute to serious disease, like Alzheimer’s and MS.

  • Margo Jan 23, 2012, 9:51 pm

    I will be moving to Cuenca by the end of the year. I will be visiting in July to make sure this is where I want to be. My biggest concern is health care. I have a medical condition that requires certain items that I have to have on me at all times. So, the first thing I am going to do is to try to find a specialist in the field. If I can’t find one, I can’t move there. I also want to find out about the different medical plans available (in the event, I find a specialist.) I am retiring and will be moving there by myself. Wish me luck.

    • Bryan Haines Jan 24, 2012, 5:55 pm

      Hello Margo – you have valid concerns. We will be writing about health insurance / medical plans over the next couple of months as we sort out the options. We have been impressed with the health care system here – both availability and quality. Of course, the costs are very reasonable.

  • Trilium Sep 29, 2011, 10:25 pm

    Bryan….

    Do you have any information on taxation isssues you have had as a Canadian …do you have payments from Canada subject to witholding tax ?

    Or were you able to leave Canada with no exit taxation applied ?

    • Bryan Haines Sep 30, 2011, 8:26 am

      Hi Trilium,

      Really depends on what your legal status will be when you leave. You might consider checking out Leaving Canada (emigrants) The Canada Revenue Agency has very clear information about this.

  • jason Jul 3, 2011, 8:56 pm

    any mental health care at the hospital?

  • alex Jun 16, 2011, 6:08 am

    Hello Bryan,
    I was wondering how could I get the antirejection pills for my wife as she got a kidney transplant 5 years ago and she is doing excellent ?
    we are considering visiting Cuenca with a strong desire to retire there.
    Thank you very much !
    alex

  • The other Bryan May 12, 2011, 6:23 am

    Another view of Mount Sinai.

    The emergency room is located at the hospital, the first photo, and it reminded me of what I might have expected from an emergency room from the 1950’s. Very basic. The other photos are of the doctor’s offices and clinics in the newer building across the street.

    My experience there as a heart attack patient was frightening. Not the heart attack, the medical care. On showing up I spent 20 minutes asking for an aspirin three times when the nurse finally said, “Oh, you want it now?”

    It was 45-60 minutes before an emergency doctor came down to attend to me. There was a staff doctor who did nothing but make the call to the critical care doctor ending his call with a comment to the effect, “We’ll see you soon, baby.”

    At the time I entered the emergency room, my initial symptoms had subsided. They had more than an hour to take precautionary steps to limit further symptoms – and damage. They did nothing. Only after my symptoms flared again did they give me nitroglycerine – while in extreme pain. I had a heart attack 10 years ago. I knew the routine. There is no way I could compare my treatment at Mount Sinai with my care in the States.

    The intensive care unit was scary to say the least. It might have been a converted storage closet. It had the feel of a dungeon. – I’m not kidding. There was no comparison with a US intensive care unit. The kindest I can say about the ICU nursing staff is a a feeling they might have been nurse’s aides trained to call a doctor if a patient needed any medical assistance. The night I spent there, about midnight, their girlfriends showed up for a little get together. One of them was crying about her novio. The nurse leaning on my bed turned to me with a look of, “Hey, what can I say? My poor friend.” When I was offered a sleeping pill, I declined. “No thanks”. No way did I trust sleeping through that night.

    Going up to a standard hospital room was a major improvement. The staff were attentive and, for the most part, professional. I did learn, after 15-20 minutes, to call the nurse’s station because any request I made to the staff in the room never seemed to get transmitted to someone to help me with my request.

    Aftercare, well, I won’t go into details but to say a stress test was performed about a month later. $100.

    Regarding doctor visits, the least I’ve paid is $25. As high as $35 for an emergency visit to a private doctor at 7PM at his office. He gave me pain medication I later checked online about. It appears this medication in tablet form was not to be prescribed except for patients taken off an IV supply of the same drug. That was not my case. Regardless, the medication was totally ineffective. I’m wondering if doctors are perhaps beginning to “gringo-ize” their charges. One doctor charged $25 and follow-ups were included in the price. Another doctor charged $30 and $30 for additional visits for the same issue. On this site, people are talking about $20 charges. And it appears my doctors and yours could have offices down the hall from one another. Have cash on hand for doctors and dentists. They likely won’t take a check or MasterCard. And if you left your card at home? They’ll drive you home to get it.

    • SophiaRN Aug 15, 2016, 3:25 pm

      Hello! I have heard similar horror stories. The thing is, it’s a great place to live if you are already mostly healthy or are doing well with chronic diseases managed on medications and occasional labwork.

      I am a BSN-RN with experience in hospice/palliative care, as well as pre/post-op, based out of Ohio. My mother has been a MICU/SICU RN with her CCRN (Critical Care Nurse Specialty) for the last 34 years. I feel like we could train the living hell out of these nurses (to standards accepted in the US).

      Nursing in a lot of countries is not considered a profession needing education or extensive training. I feel like if the healthcare was improved, then more people would come to Ecuador.

      But the problem is, most people in Ecuador are relatively healthy or grew up in a culture that does not encourage “making a big deal out of nothing” or… almost-nothings (aka subacute diseases/disorders/infections).

  • Karen Kimbler May 12, 2011, 1:10 am

    Hi,
    My husband and I had a similar experience at this hospital when we came to visit the first time. We went to the emergency room. We were waited on in less than 10 min. The doctor was very thorough, and our total bill for the 30 min. emergency room visit – $11. ER Dr. $13, Medication $38. Total.. $58.. for an ER visit!

    • Bryan Haines May 12, 2011, 1:15 am

      Thanks for sharing this Karen. Its surprising to receive both a low price and excellent attention – but we’re getting used to it. What a place to live!

  • Oscar May 10, 2011, 7:49 pm

    Dental Services – Cuenca

    Dr. Oscar Alvarez Espinal (Holistic Dentistry)

    Offices: Consultorios Monte Sinai
    Miguel Cordero y Av. Solano
    of. 507 – 5to floor

    Phone: 096189743 / 2814-813 (ext. 1500) / 289-4231

    E-mail: alvarezespinal@hotmail.com

    Treatment for Adults and Children.
    – Dental esthetics
    – Dental prosthesis
    – Orthodontics
    – Oral surgery
    – Endodontics
    – Pediatric dentistry
    – 24 hour Emergency

    • Bryan Haines May 12, 2011, 12:09 am

      Thanks Dr. Oscar – appreciate the info!

      Bryan

      • Oscar May 13, 2011, 6:49 pm

        You’re welcome.
        I am at your service. I wait in my office. Free Consultation and cleaning, being foreign friends as I am.

    • Alberto sarmiento Feb 25, 2016, 9:03 pm

      careful with this professional, not recommended, there are many professionals like Dr. francisco heredia, jaime tapia they are good. I do not understand that this hospital does not control the quality of their dentists

      • ecbound May 17, 2017, 4:46 pm

        If you’re going to malign someone like this, publicly, you should at least give some facts supporting your insinuation.

  • Jennifer May 7, 2011, 4:38 pm

    Hey if you need Dematology services, my nephew is on the 5th floor of Mt Sinai. Dermaclinic, Dr. Juan Jose Ambrosi, he speaks fluent English if that is necessary. He is/was the president of the association of dermatologists of Ecuador. People travel all over Ecuador to see him. The Dermaclinic also offers some fabulous spa like treatments for facials and anti-aging procedures such as Fotofacials, chemical peels, Botox etc. for more than half the price of similar procedures in the US. Just tell him that Jennifer Alvarado in Chicago sent you :).

    • Carrie Fiske May 22, 2011, 3:26 pm

      Hi, we are a couple living in Ecuador near Cuenca and our baby has what seems to be infant eczema. Do you think your Uncle would be able to help him out or does he mainly treat adults? Do you have his office #? Thanks Jennifer!

  • Ralph Sabean Apr 29, 2011, 3:02 pm

    They are very nice pictures of a world a million miles away it seems when family is there and we miss them even when times makes everything hard to comprhend. We’re glad you are there as it makes it a little better knowing at times you can visit each other if you feel the inclination to upbuild one another.

  • David Akins Apr 27, 2011, 8:38 pm

    Dena, I had a good experience at that hospital as well. My wife, Karen, and I were exploring Cuenca this past November/December. I have asthma and made the mistake of staying too close to the bus lines. The diesel fumes got to me and I had an asthma episode. I went to Mount Sinai to see a specialist (I took my Cuencan friend along to translate). The doctor spent about 45 minutes with me, checking me over, having me breath into different machines, etc. At the end, he charged me $20 and wrote me 4 prescriptions (Advair, prednisone, a mouth inhaler, and a nasal inhaler). I had these filled in the pharmacy at the hospital. Total cost of meds: $38. Heck, in the US, my copay for just the Advair is $40. The quality and price of healthcare is one of the main reasons we are moving down there next month. Our plane leaves Jacksonville, FL on May 30th. I hope to meet you and Bryan in person this time.
    David

    • Bryan Haines Apr 27, 2011, 8:49 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story. We had the same experience. And you know whats great? The prescriptions just get cheaper. There is a pharmacy called PharmaSol (there’s one on 12 de Abril, another one just off of Solano and a third one in the tunnel by the Feria Libre) which are state run and costs about 60% of the pharmacy at Mount Sinai. Our family doctor told us that the Mount Sinai pharmacy is the most expensive one in town.

      Let us know when you are settled – and we’ll do coffee!

      • David Akins May 12, 2011, 4:31 am

        Will do, Bryan. We fly out on the 30th of this month, spend the night in Quito, then on to Cuenca the next day. I am very anxious to get back down there and get settled.

  • Lisa Apr 27, 2011, 3:45 pm

    Hey Dena, good medical info to know. I was surprised to see such a modern hospital
    in Cuenca. But, what do I know? 🙂 Hope Bryan’s tests were of help for his allergies. Keep up the good work. Hugs.

    • Bryan Haines Apr 27, 2011, 4:05 pm

      Thanks Lisa – tests were positive (proved I have allergies), so I guess thats a help . . . hello to Rick and Justin!

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