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Horrific cabo trip

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posts: 250
reviews: 15
Horrific cabo trip

We were visiting cabo may 15 staying at the Bahia. On Friday morning our friend fell from the fourth floor hallway. Although the outside corridors have a mere 3 feet security walk It was an accident and we were not assigning blame. The security at the hotel called an ambulance which took him to the one world by st Luke's hospital. He had to have emergency surgery as there were lacerations to liver, broken ribs , fractured vertebrae and collapsed lungs. The DOE at the hospital ,Mario , was the most unprofessional medical person I have ever met. He basically tried to threaten us to not allow the surgery without immediate credit card payment. Eventually they performed the surgery to remove his spleen, patch up liver, and put a chest tube in our friend. We contacted his primary insurance which basically said just pay the bill and submit a claim for reimbursement. We then called our travel insurance, Allianz which authorized an air medivac out of cabo. This was set up and prepaid by Allianz. All we needed was a doctors authorization that he was ok to transport. Then the hospital demanded 50000 dollars before they would sign the release. We explained we did not have that kind of money. Mario threatened and harassed us for over 24hours while our friend was held hostage in this hospital with severe injuries. We had to contact a local lawyer and the American embassy to try and intervene with this monster. Eventually they settled on 22000 which was paid by credit card and we got him out via air vac to UCSD. If it had not been for our travel insurance we would no doubt be bringing him home in a casket. I urge everyone traveling out if the country to buy this insurance and be very wary which hospital your hotel calls! Stay away from one world / st lukes! We are still At UCSD and hope to see him released on Tuesday. I have been traveling to cabo for over 17 years but I will never return after this nightmare.

128 replies to this topic
111. Re: Horrific cabo trip

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Removed on: 6:02 am, March 27, 2014
Portland, Oregon
posts: 1
112. Re: Horrific cabo trip

We had a similar experience on June 9,2014 my brother was in a swimming accident and was taken. To one world hospital in cabo it was just him and his girlfriend. As soon as she got there're they demanded $10,000. Right away my family and I flew down to be with them. My brother was in a coma and was without oxygen to his brain for 20min. Once we got down there things got scary fast we weren't allowed to see him and the guy upstairs "Mario" would call down and threaten us that we had to pay more and more money. Our bill got up to $50,000 within hours. They wouldn't let us life flight him to San Diego without paying that amount in full. Thank god for the American embassy they helped us get out of that nightmare. Travel agents will tell you if you had travel insurance everything would be different but down there they don't care if you have insurance because my brother had full coverage they wanted there money right then. My brother is still in a coma almost 2 months later he is fighting everyday for his life. People don't understand how horrible these situations really are when ur loved one is severally hurt and you don't know if there going to live you shouldn't have to worry about pulling together $50,000. Nobody really knows how horrific it is until it happens to you. I would never wish this upon anybody. So next time you travel just make sure to be safe and cover all your bases.

posts: 4,114
reviews: 53
113. Re: Horrific cabo trip

Sorry to here about you brother and hope he is doing better! This post was from over a year ago and there has been many posts about insurance! If you read some of the other posts you will see that you can get insurance that will pay up front for medical and air evacuation!

Lodi, California
Destination Expert
for Cabo San Lucas
posts: 22,198
reviews: 35
114. Re: Horrific cabo trip

Terribly sorry to read about your brother. What a tragedy :(

Please don't put the blame on travel agent's re:insurance though. There are many different types of policies, as Canamerican mentioned. I hope your brother is able to recover and send a prayer to all.

Leucadia, California
posts: 3
115. Re: Horrific cabo trip

Yes, we can relate. January of 2014 - my husband had a seriously accident and was admitted to One World/Saint Lukes. They wanted to do a surgery on his broken neck but I refused even after they said he couldn't get an air-ambulance over the weekend back to San Diego. Well, I began making phone calls and found that to be untrue and was in the process of hiring someone when suddenly this ambulance chaser dude (Adrian) who is in cahoots with Mario the director of One World/Saint Lukes said they could get us an ambulance that day if we came up with $30K. I told them that I didn't have that kind of money because we had already forked over $30K to OWSL for a one night hospital stay. Anyway, long story short.....the air ambulance company said they would fly us to SD for $15,500 but then I would have to allow them to bill my insurance in the states. I felt totally sketchy about this but our hands were tied. I found out a week later that the air-ambulance billed our insurance over $300K (you can buy a private aircraft for that much!) and I know that Mario (the director) sicked Adrian on us when we were going to employ another company. They are so money hungry and don't care about healthcare. They take care of vulnerable people. The sad thing is, the air-ambulance company is from the United States and there is a racket going on between them and this Mexican hospital.

Leucadia, California
posts: 3
116. Re: Horrific cabo trip

Post #113 - I guess you didn't read Carmen's post very well because they did have air-evac insurance but One World/Saint Lukes wouldn't honor it and they had to go to the consulate......... The director of this particular hospital runs his organization by a different set of ethics.

Edited: 10:03 pm, July 30, 2014
Longview, Texas
posts: 1
reviews: 6
117. Re: Horrific cabo trip

My daughter had an allergic reaction while on spring break in Cabo. She was taken to One World by Saint Lukes. I can only hope that the care she received was medically correct, but she did recover quickly after medication was administered. She called me crying from the hospital because they would not let her leave until the bill was paid. I had to pay the bill by phone using a credit card and submit to my insurance. The total charges were almost $900, but I didn't think this was unreasonable for an allergic reaction (IV, medication, ER, etc.). She was then released. However, an ambulance service, Logistica Medica, sent me a bill for over $2000. My daughter said the bar she was at called the ambulance. She refused to go in the ambulance, but the ambulance driver then said she could ride in the front seat and he would drop her at the hospital since he had to go there anyway. She asked how much it would cost and was told it was free. When she arrived at the hospital, she was forced to sign an ambulance form that said her insurance would be billed. Someone who said they were from the hospital called me at home and asked for her insurance information. I provided it thinking it had to do with the hospital services, and then I get the ambulance bill a few days later. If this isn't taking advantage of a young spring break tourist, then I don't know what is. It was one mile (that was included as an additional charge on the ambulance bill) and no medical services were provided, and the patient was lied to. I am still dealing with this bill 7 months later. Parents - don't let your children go to spring break in Cabo. You never know what might happen and your child could be the victim in a situation like this. If they do go, make sure they have travel insurance including medical air transport. If it's not a severe injury or illness, don't trust the ambulance services. It might be a cheap trip for your kid, but it could turn out to be an expensive one for you. After reading some of the other stories on this post I feel blessed that I only have to deal with the cost, not an out of control medical situation.

Vancouver BC
posts: 2,799
reviews: 3
118. Re: Horrific cabo trip


T_time175 in post #112 says in their post that " my brother had full coverage they wanted there money right then" and I think what they meant is that One World St Lukes isn't interested in making arrangements to receive payment from the Insurance company and that One World St Lukes just wants the cash money from the visitor to Cabo immeadiately.

Lodi, California
Destination Expert
for Cabo San Lucas
posts: 22,198
reviews: 35
119. Re: Horrific cabo trip

I saw that, Fsmdude.................and it seems that One World is the problem. I just hate thinking that some travel agent that didn't have a clue anyone would be scammed by a hospital was having people think it was their fault. It seems it is all based on this hospital ripping people off.....................I am fairly sure the insurance company wasn't aware it would turn out like that either.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Cabo San Lucas
posts: 8,926
reviews: 6
120. Re: Horrific cabo trip

When I was rushed to the hospital in Zihuatanejo a few years ago...insurance did not matter. I kept seeing this man dressed in a business suit coming into my room each day...in Zihua a business suit is weird...as it is so hot...and I had no idea who he was...it was very frightening. My friends were there when he came in one time...and he told them he was the owner of the hospital. He told them that before I could leave, I needed to pay cash. He did not care one bit that I had insurance. He said that he would provide all of the documents that I needed for my Blue Cross insurance when I got home.

On check out, my cardiologist was forced to get the money from me...or else he would not get paid for his excellent services. He drove me to my apartment...and I got my travelers checks and he drove me to my bank. He stood strangely near me...and the bank teller who knew me well, wrote me a note before she cashed the checks asking me if I was being extorted...as she did not know this doctor. Amazing!! I told her that I had been a patient and that they wanted cash...so she then got permission to cash all of the checks.

We then left...but the bank sent a guard/gun from out of nowhere...to go with us...in the car and back to the hospital...as the lobby of the bank had lots of people with numbers waiting to be served that saw how much money had been counted out...and they were afraid I would be held up! (Great!!) So out to the car...to the hospital...and into the owners office...with the guard and his big rifle!! Quite the scene. The owner was not impressed, let me tell you! But it seemed to bring him up short a bit...like maybe I did have friends!

Suddenly there was a knock on the door...and in comes one of my friends...and lots of loud talking/discussions/ugliness started...and here I sit barely able to stay awake...just wanted to go back to my apartment and sleep and get better! Turns out that my friend got the bill down to MEXICAN rates...and I had this huge fistfull of cash left over...saved me more than half! WOW...I to this day have no clue how he was notified...and he just smiles and says God works in mysterious ways in Mexico!!

Came home and submitted the bill to Blue Cross...and the pharmacy bill. Waited and waited, phoned and phoned. No repayment...after about 11 months one of the Blue Cross people told me...well...your bill is in Spanish so we don't know how to pay you. By this time I was pretty tired of all of this...and my comment was.....You know when I call in...I can hit 1 for English...or 2 for Spanish? She said...yes...that is how it happens. So I said...well...take this d@mn bill to someone in the "2 for Spanish" department...and pay me NOW. One week later I got my check in the mail!!!

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