Get Quality, Affordable Healthcare in Panama

If you’re looking for quality healthcare you can afford, look to Panama. Clinics and hospitals are strategically located in hubs across the country. And since the country is so small, you’re unlikely to be more than an hour from a modern facility…no matter where you choose to live. It’s also not unusual to find English-speaking doctors here, as many study abroad after finishing the required training in Panama.

Panama’s Hubs and Major Facilities

Panama City is known throughout Latin America for its excellent clinics and hospitals. Getting to Panama City from nearly anywhere in the country is quick and easy, whether you’re driving two hours from the mountain haven of El Valle, or flying an hour from the island paradise that is Bocas del Toro.

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The compact, cosmopolitan capital is home to many facilities, including the Johns Hopkins International-affiliated Hospital Punta Pacifica. Known as one of the most technologically advanced medical centers in the region, Hospital Punta Pacifica is just one of many facilities in Panama with U.S. affiliations.

Accreditations offered by the likes of the Joint Commission International (JCI) also help to highlight Panama’s high standards. The San Fernando Hospital in Panama City was the first facility in Panama to obtain a JCI gold-star rating. (The San Fernando group also has a small but well-equipped satellite facility in the expat hub of Coronado, 51 miles west of the capital, in the Pacific beach region known as the Arco Seco, or Dry Arc.)

Other hub towns with hospitals, medical centers, and/or clinics include David and Chitré. These are a short drive from the retirement havens of Boquete and Pedasí, respectively. Even in smaller towns, you will find excellent doctors, dentists, and vets for your pets .

The equipment and doctors at clinics and hospitals across Panama are similar to what you’d find in the same facilities in the U.S. or Canada, with many expats reporting that they received more personalized care in Panama than they did back home. The same is true for dentistry in Panama—one of many fields attracting medical tourists to this country.

Pharmacies in Panama are, of course, also plentiful, with the Arrocha and Metro chains among the most ubiquitous. You’ll also find pharmacies in hospitals and supermarkets like the El Rey chain. Prices for prescription drugs can be low as well, as many are priced for the local market. Plus, some drugs that require a prescription in the U.S. are available over the counter in Panama.

Private health insurance available to expats living in Panama is generally much cheaper than insurance in the U.S. In part, this is because doctor’s fees and hospital visits are inexpensive. . Also, medical malpractice costs are low because Panama’s ponderous judicial system is not conducive to money-seeking lawsuits.

Finally, salaries are still relatively low in Panama. A salary of $1,200 to $2,000 a month is considered excellent for a university graduate in Panama and a great many Panamanians earn considerably less.