Healthcare in Panama
Panama's healthcare system is characterized by a large sector composed of the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Panamanian Social Security Fund (CSS), as well as the small but growing private sector. Each of them operating with good medical facilities and installations.
There are several affordable options for different types of services and budget. Even, some American health insurance plans are accepted in Panama. Locally, plans are offered, which provide full reimbursement for services to their licensed medical providers or companies; within Panama's territory, health insurance policies are also offered that cover medical services anywhere in the world outside of Panama. Many hospitals also offer membership medical plans, which include discounts on surgical procedures and general medical treatments.
Prices vary by health center; however, they are lower compared to the prices of medical centers in Europe, North America and other parts of the world, since the minimum wage salary in Panama is around USD$500.00. The incidence of malpractice or negligence is very low, since lawsuits involve a bureaucratic process so cases in this category are avoided at all costs.
One (1) hour medical consultations are about USD$50.00. An admission to the Emergency Room (ER) is around USD$100.00, which is much less than the prices of other regions outside of Central America.
An MRI procedure is around USD$500.00; and a facelift can be performed for USD$1,700.00.
There is a wide range of prescription drugs, which also cost much less than in other countries.
Health Insurance in Panama
The most popular Insurance Companies in Panama, that provide private health insurance plans are: Aseguradora Ancon, Internacional de Seguros and World Wide Medical; through an insurance broker that advise you well on the most beneficial plan for you and your family. A private health insurance plan obtained through a local insurance company may cost between 165USD to 280USD, whereas international insurance companies located in Panama may over higher coverage and more extensive service which come to a higher price as well (325 USD to 530USD).
Drugstores in Panama
The two most common ways to obtain prescribed or unprescribed medication in Panama is either through a Governmental Social Security benefit or buying them in private pharmacies as the ones mentioned here: Farmacias Arrocha (all over Panama), Farmacias El Javillo (all over Panama), Farmacias Revilla (all over Panama), Farmacias Metro Plus (in Chiriqui located in Romero supermarkets and the rest of Panama located in El Rey supermarkets), Farmacias Danke (only in the province of Chiriqui), Farmacias Medexx (only in Boquete).
Hospitals, Healthcare Centers and Clinics in Panama
The public medical centers in Panama are: MINSA, MINSA CAPSI, or Social Security Polyclinics. Their appearance is mostly green, beige and yellow and light blue with white. Governmental Medical Facilities in Panama are managed by appointment only that must be previously coordinated by phone call only. Lines can be long and to set up an appointment in public hospitals can be exhausting, that is why we recommend to opt for private hospitals services. You can also find small private healthcare centers and clinics all over Panama.
In case of not finding a service that you need, there are other websites with medical professionals data base that may interest you as well.
(Online and Printed Magazine of Healthcare Professionals Portfolio)
(Online Professionals located in Panama AddressBook Site)
(Online Booking Platform for Medical Appointments with Panamanian Doctors)
(Online Forum Website)
Stay safe and healthy!
Photo: www.pixabay.com // Bruno/ Germany