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Lake Chapala Expats Are Welcoming a New Medical Facility  

Ribera Medical Center at Lake Chapala, Mexico
Credit: David Huff

Lake Chapala expats are welcoming a new medical facility, the “State of the Art” medical facility, Ribera Medical Center. It was inaugurated several months ago in a by-invitation ceremony due to pandemic cautions here.

The new facility opened to the public and began receiving patients in December. Visited by Coprisjal. the Jalisco regulatory board, the medical center was found to be in full compliance in all norms and standards. Ribera Medical Center is now the third major hospital to open in our Lake Chapala region in the past 10 years and was rated by Coprisjal as the only “Top-Tier” hospital at Lakeside.

The medical center is located on the Libramiento (by-pass Lakeside-Chapala-Guadalajara highway) just one kilometer north of the Chapala-Jocotepec carretera (highway) in San Antonio Tlayacapan. Its location provides fast and easy access for all residents of the villages along the lake’s north shore corridor, offering both routine wellness clinics and critical/emergency care. The medical center has also initiated an ambulance service based at the hospital that offers closer proximity for San Antonio, Ajijic, San Juan Cosala and Jocotepec patient emergency needs than the Cruz Roja Clinic ambulances based at Centro Chapala.

The concept birth of Ribera Medical Center dates back about three years and was a project to develop a Lakeside medical center by Dr. Santiago Hernandez, founder and Chief Medical Officer of Chapala Med, a medical clinic he established nearly a decade ago in the western section of Chapala. So successful was the outpatient clinic in attracting patients from across the north shore corridor that he moved the clinic to a larger and more centralized location just a half kilometer north of the Chapala-Jocotepec junction with the Libramiento at the eastern border of Ajijic.

Until April 2021, Dr. Hernandez was designated to be the Medical Director of Ribera Medical Center. In January 2021, Chapala Med opened a satellite clinic in the Riberas del Pilar district of Chapala to better accommodate a growing patient demand from that area.

Chapala Med II, as it was designated, has expanded the number of general practice and specialty physicians in medical practice Lakeside. In March 2021, Dr. Hernandez announced plans for Chapala Med III to be opened soon in the municipality of Jocotepec to service patients at the western edge of Lake Chapala.

Access to quality medical care in the Lake Chapala region is on the rise. In April 2021, it was announced that Dr. Hernandez would step down as the Medical Director for the medical center, to allow him more time to devote to his patient clinical practice and the expanded number of Chapala Med clinics. The board of directors will soon select a new Medical Director for the hospital. They also announced plans for a completely isolated Covid-19 unit as part of the medical center. It will have its own entrance, staffing and be fully equipped to handle patients diagnosed with the Covid virus that require hospitalization.

A full-service community medical facility, Ribera Medical Center has 24-hour Emergency Room and supportive ambulance service. It also has a Clinical Laboratory, Blood Bank, Hemodialysis and Intensive Care units. Along with Inpatient Services and Surgical Suites, there are physicians and allied medical personnel that provide care in cardiology and cardio-surgery; endoscopy; endocrinology; ENT; geriatrics; OB/GYN; gastroenterology; internal medicine; nephrology; neurology and neuro-surgery; ophthalmology; pediatrics; rheumatology; orthopedics and trauma care; and, urology.

If you are thinking about making the Lake Chapala area your home, it’s nice to know that lakeside has access to quality and modern medical care that provides residents with comfort and assurance of a good life at Lake Chapala.