Cancun, Q.R. — An American woman who had emergency heart surgery in Cancun is set to be released.
Last week, an Indiana woman visiting the region for a wedding ended up in hospital where she required two heart surgeries at a cost of more than $100,000 USD. Unable to come up with all the cash, the family racked up credit cards and began a gofundme campaign, where they raised just over $29,000 of the $30,000 needed to pay the remainder of the medical expenses.
After allegations of the hospital threatening to not release her until the bills were paid, Dixie Stinson is finally set to be released from the AmeriMed hospital in Cancun.
The Indiana family said the hospital told them Mrs. Stinson would not be released from hospital until the debt was settled, however, Gabriela Martínez Hernández, an attorney for the hospital, said in a statement that the hospital “never has, and never will, refuse to release a nonpaying patient for financial reasons. It is unethical, and it is against the law.”
She also said that the family requested services in writing, despite their lack of funds and insurance coverage, and had “full knowledge of the implications therein.”
Hernández added that “no treatment or intervention was withheld for financial reasons” and that the hospital has had “open and fluid communication with Mérida-based Consular Officer Suzanne McGuire.” A representative from the Cancún-based consulate was scheduled to visit the family to “ascertain the patient’s situation and attest to what is really happening.”
Angel Vazquez Vazquez, treasurer of the Medical College of Quintana Roo, says that there are many complaints by foreigners regarding abusive charges for medical services, but very few complaints regarding abusive practices. He adds that “Without a complaint there is no monitoring or enforcement,” where tourists can go to their embassy, PROFECO or the Medical Collage itself as each of these entities has the legal power to intervene.
Mrs. Stinson has “significantly improved” and has been moved from intensive care. She is set to be released on Friday.
Husband Mo Stinson says he expectes his wife’s medical insurance to reimburse about $50,000 of the expenses. He also said that, “If nothing else comes out of this, I just want people to know that they should get traveler’s insurance.”