Home Headlines Mérida’s modern hospitals build on 450 years of outstanding medical tradition

Mérida’s modern hospitals build on 450 years of outstanding medical tradition

by Yucatan Times
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In the state of Yucatan there is a great tradition of study and practice of medicine that goes all the way back to the early sixteenth century.

The first hospital in the city of Merida, Yucatan was founded almost immediately after the Spanish conquest, on May 18, 1562. Years later, it became a hospital and convent, and in 1625 it was named “Hospital San Juan de Dios”.


Church of la Mejorada (Google)

The Church of la Mejorada was inaugurated on January 22, 1640, and from 1688 to  1694 the building was used as a hospital by the Franciscan Friars. Catholic priests  were in charge of  the hospital during the eighteenth century.

Today, the city of Mérida has one of the most prestigious medical faculties in Mexico, which belongs to the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY).

But, how did it start?

In 1833, Dr. Ignacio Vado Lugo from Nicaragua came to Mérida to visit his friend Mr. Thomas O’Horán, lawyer, magistrate and senator, who convinced him to stay in the city to teach medicine; Vado accepted the proposal, was named professor of prime cathedra of medicine; and therefore, State Governor, José Tiburcio Lopez Constante, enacted the decree officially founding the School of Medicine on June 10, 1833.

The program duration was four years, at the end of these, the Bachelor in Medicine was achieved. With this degree, it was possible to start working outside Merida. In order to qualify for the Master’s degree, it was mandatory to spend two more years working in the local general hospital.


Medical education (Universidad del Sureste)

Eventually, another three years of professional exercise were necessary to achieve a Ph.D. So, candidates had to spend nine years studying and practicing in order to become Doctors in Medicine.

In 1859 the grade of bachelor was changed and in 1862 the students obtained the degree of graduate in medicine. On June 30, 1869, the Escuela Especial de Medicina, Cirugía y Farmacia (Special School of Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacy) was created with a six year course. A regulation enacted on September 22 1884 determined the degree to be Doctor in Medicine.

On February 6, 1906 General Hospital Dr. Agustin O’Horan was inaugurated by President of the Republic, General Porfirio Díaz at the same location where it can still be found today, in the west of Merida.

Hospital Agustín O'Horán_1906_2010 (Google)

Hospital Agustín O’Horán_1906_2010 (Google)

The 100th anniversary of the founding of the School of Medicine was celebrated in 1933 with the first “Peninsular Medical Congress”.  And five years later, on November 5, 1938, the University ceased to be “The Southeast University” (Universidad del Sureste) to become the University of Yucatan. In 1952, the new building of the School of Medicine opened its doors on Avenida Itzáes, where it is still today.


Facultad de Medicina de la UADY (Photo: UADY)

Today, Merida offers its residents a world class hospital infrastructure that includes a number of hospitals and  clinics up to any other country in Europe or North America .

The local medical infrastructure features all the services a top American hospital provides: doctors and specialists on staff, surgery facilities, recovery rooms, clinical analysis laboratories and additional specialized treatment facilities.

It is important to highlight that all expatriates living or traveling in the Yucatan are eligible for all available medical services, which are generally quite affordable compared to many other countries. Many retirees are finding that rising health care costs, decreasing insurance coverage, and recession have made it increasingly difficult to afford health care in the U.S.

Dental clinics are also very popular among expats because Medicare in the United States does not cover preventive dental coverage. Dental clinics in Mexico attract customers primarily because of their prices, good quality service, English-speaking staff and a transparent price list.

Many people also come down to Mérida to get orthopedic, bariatric, cosmetic, and Lasik eye surgery because either Medicare does not cover it, or because the deductible and/or co-pay is more expensive than the total amount of the airfare, accommodations, plus the same surgical procedure in Yucatán.

Some of the most important medical facilities in Mérida are:

Clínica de Mérida
Phone: +52-999-942-1800
Location: Centro Merida
Address: Av. Itzáes No. 242, Colonia García Ginerés, Merida
Email: [email protected]

Services : Blood Bank, Diabetes Education, Centre for Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation and Sports, Osteoporosis Center, Cardiovascular Diagnosis, Sensorineural Diagnosis, Dialysis and Hemodialysis, Electrodiagnostic, Tomographic scintigraphy, Clinical Laboratory, Extracorporeal lithotripsy, Hyperbaric Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, X -Ray, Ultrasound and Mammography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Ambulance Service, Helical Computed Tomography, Intensive Care Unit , Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, General Emergency, Pediatric Emergency, Vaccination Center.
Website: www.clinicademerida.com.mx/


Phone: +52-999-930-2880
Location: North Merida
Address: Calle 26 #199, por 15 y 7, Col. Altabrisa, Merida

Services : Emergency room, Surgery and rehabilitation, Tocosurgery (Surgery in Pregnancy), ICU and recovery, Nursery and neonatal intensive care, Blood bank, Imaging, Clinical Laboratory, Cardiology, Pathology, Endoscopy, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Interventional Radiology, Hemodialysis, Inhalotherapy, Cardiovascular Center.
Website: www.starmedica.com.mx


Centro Médico de las Américas
Phone: +52-999-926-2111
Location: Centro Merida
Email: [email protected]
Address: Calle 54 #365 x 33-A y Avenida Pérez Ponce, Colonia Centro, Merida

Services : Blood Bank, Cardio CT, Physiological Nursery, Diagnostic Imaging, Hemodialysis, Hospitalization, Laboratory, Maternity Packages, Physical Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, Operating Rooms, Magnetic Resonance, Preventive Screening, Ambulatory Surgery, Coronary Care, Intensive Care, Infant Care, Emergency Adults, Pediatric Emergency.
Website: www.centromedicodelasamericas.com.mx


Centro de Especialidades Médicas
Phone: +52-999-920-4040
Location: Centro Merida
Address: Calle 60 #329-B x 35, Colonia Centro, Merida

Services : 24 HR Emergency, Laboratories, Pharmacy, Hospitalization, Operating Rooms, X-ray, Labor rooms, Recovery Room, Ultrasound, Adult intensive unit, Neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric, Endoscopy and Gastroenterology, Pediatric Surgery.
Website: www.cemsureste.com


Centro Medico Pensiones
Phone: +52-999-920-0184
Location: West Merida
Address: Calle 7 #215A x 32 y 34, Colonia García Ginerés, Merida

Services : 24 HR emergency, Laboratories, Pharmacy, Hospitalization, Operating Rooms, X-ray, Labor rooms, Recovery Room, Ultrasound, Adult intensive unit, Neonatal intensive care unit and Pediatric, Pediatric Surgery, Hemodialysis, Tomography and Mammography.
Website: www.centromedicopensiones.com


Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad

Phone: +52-999-942-7600
Location: North Merida
Address: Calle 7, No. 433 por 20 y 22, Fracc. Altabrisa

Services : Cardiovascular and neumonology, neuroscience, hematology and oncology, intensive care for adults and children, internal medicine, nefrology, transplants, blood bank, laboratory.
Website: http://www.hraeyucatan.salud.gob.mx/

Hospital General “Dr. Agustín O’Horan”
Phone: +52-999-930-3320
Location: Merida
Address: Av. Itzáes por Av. Jacinto Canek s/n, Colonia Centro

Services : Blood Bank, Transplants, Hemodialysis, Hospitalization, Laboratory, Outpatient surgery, laboratory, Gynecology, Intensive Care, Infant Care, Emergency Adults, Pediatric Emergency.
Website: http://horan.yucatan.gob.mx/wp/


For more information about Merida’s hospital facilities and other medical providers and clinics, please visit www.yucatanhealthcare.com.  Other useful resources can be found at: http://www.medicina.uady.mx/.

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