Expats Eye Affordable Panamanian Health Care

Panama City health care costs are half that of the United States and more foreigners are taking notice. The city boasts several dental clinics and four major hospitals …

Panama City health care costs are half that of the United States and more foreigners are taking notice. The city boasts several dental clinics and four major hospitals that rival many First Word facilities, most which are affiliated with prominent U.S. providers. Many foreigners are taking advantage of Panama’s health care through “medical tourism” programs that are increasing quickly in popularity in the Central American city. For more on this continue reading the following article from International Living.

It’s a flashy bustling city, filled with high-rises that rim the deep blue Panama Bay. This modern capital has so much going for it…but perhaps more important than the culture and the nightlife is the health care in Panama City.

Among those brilliant buildings of steel and chrome are some of the region’s most modern hospitals, dental clinics, and more. So many treatments and procedures are available here, your head will spin. And the drug stores don’t disappoint, either. The latest medications are available here…and sometimes cost less than in the U.S. or other First World countries.

Health care in Panama City: The Hospitals

Panama has many hospitals and clinics, but the best private ones are in the capital. They measure up to the highest standards in terms of quality of care and sophistication of medical procedures, equipment, and technology.

Another plus: most are affiliated with prestigious U.S. health providers. Local doctor Jorge Paz says: “Panama follows a U.S.-style curriculum, and constantly updates its practices and equipment.” He adds that the hospitals here stack up to the best he has found in San Antonio and New York, where he studied and practiced medicine. And by the way, that’s not unusual. Many of the city’s doctors are U.S.-trained and speak fluent English.

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Major hospitals in Panama City include:

Centro Medico Paitilla: Just off main artery Balboa Avenue, this hospital is affiliated the Cleveland Clinic, and the two hospitals have held a joint conference in Panama every year for the past six years. Panama’s best-known Oncology Unit is also located here.

Clinica Hospital San Fernando: On main artery Via Espan~a, this Panama City hospital has an “international office” to help expats unfamiliar with the language. The San Fernando Hospital is affiliated with the well-known Tulane University Health Services Center and Hospital Clinic, Baptist Health International of Miami, and the Miami Children’s Hospital.

Hospital Nacional: Just off Balboa Avenue, this hospital in Panama City is run by the American Hospital Management Company, which is affiliated with the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Kendall Medical Center in Florida.

Hospital Punta Pacifica: The newest of the four, Hospital Punta Pacifica is known as Latin America’s most technologically advanced hospital. The technology employed here enables state- of-the-art diagnostics and even educational opportunities. Special features include advanced videoconferencing to allow authorized doctors abroad to view and analyze patient data and even surgeries. The Punta Pacifica Hospital is the only facility in the Latin America and Caribbean region affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine International.

Marketing health care in Panama: PanaHealth

The health care here is so good that “medical tourism” companies have begun popping up. Most of these, such as first-comer Pana-Health, aim to assist foreigners. Most of the participants come from countries where health care is prohibitively expensive. They come for everything from surgery to treatment for autism to complete dental work…even cosmetic surgery. A health tourism company offers help with arrangements, booking procedures and even travel and hotel stays.

It’s no wonder people are flocking here. Medical procedures in Panama City can cost 50% less than in the U.S. Plus Panama City is an international hub, easily accessible from nearly anywhere in the world. Whether you’re considering Panama for a health-related trip…or as a place to live…you’re likely to find that health care in Panama City is cheap, convenient, and often comes with a smile. When was the last time you got one of those at the doctor’s office?

This article was republished with permission from International Living.


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