Childbirth in a turn-of-the-century maternity ward. Childbirth in a maternity ward 100 years ago.

Turn-of-the-century health care in MX

Photos by Gustavo Casasola offer a glimpse of medical history

What was Mexico’s health care system like a century ago, when the term medical tourism had not yet been coined and weight-loss surgery was not such a big deal as it is today?


Some photos taken at the time by Gustavo Casasola offer a bit of a glimpse.

The photographer’s work can be found in the Casasola Archive, photographs not only by Gustavo Casasola but by three generations of his family, beginning with his father, Agustín Víctor Casasola and his uncle, Miguel.

The collection spans the period between the late 19th century and the 1970s, when it was acquired by the Mexican government through the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

They are now part of the Fototeca Nacional in Pachuca, Hidalgo.

Yesterday, the newspaper El Economista published nine health-related photos taken by Gustavo Casasola in a somewhat late observance of World Health Day, which was actually April 7.

But as they are no less interesting for being late, they are republished here. The photos were taken between the end of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th.

Mexico News Daily

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  • Interesting shots. I imagine photos of U.S. medical facilities during the same period would be pretty much the same.

    • James Smith


  • James Smith

    answer: pretty much the same as today except no doubt “bedside manner” was much better at that time. advice to the new expat to mexico: don’t ever get sick.