Health Care in Panama

Panama is the southernmost part of all Central American nations. It is situated at the south of Costa Rica and at the north of Colombia. Panama is an isthmus with Panama Canal that divides the country at its narrowest and lowest point, allowing passage from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean.

Its current population is 3.9 million and has a constitutional representative democracy as form of government. In 2012, Panama was included in Traveler’s the top twelve places to visit.

The cost of health care services in first world countries is increasing. Most people would travel for treatment instead, hence, making the medical tourism in other countries a growing industry. Panama has been one of the countries who benefited from this rise in medical tourism. Since then, Panama has been working hard to provide all medical procedures with great facilities, all at an economical cost.


Public Health Care

Public health care in Panama includes hospitals and clinics. Their government specifically the Ministry of Health and their Social Security System, have invested and worked together to provide free services. However, a few negative comments on Panama’s public hospitals have been noted. Accordingly, their public hospitals do not deliver the best service due to the lack of doctors and hospital staff.  Most patients have reportedly waited for several hours to receive medical care even in emergency situations. Also, appointments to clinics will make patients tired since again, they will have to wait for some time. Some public hospitals have poor infrastructure, facilities and equipments.  Moreover, the pharmacies in public hospitals in Panama, do not guarantee the availability of all prescriptions.

Private Health Care

The public health care of Panama may not be the best. Conversely, their private health care system is something that they can be proud of. Several private hospitals in Panama have already state of the art facilities which can be a par to hospitals in other countries.  Some of their private hospitals have affiliated with hospitals in the United States, like the Punta Pacifica Hospital which is affiliated to John Hopkins Hospital. Private health care is far more inexpensive in Panama. Moreover, patients in private hospitals are given immediate care and attention.  Private health insurance, which is also much affordable, is available in Panama.


Access to medicines is trouble-free in Panama City since pharmacies can be found in supermarkets, hospitals and clinics on the streets. The prices of medicines are either low or expensive depending on where it is imported from.

Popular Hospitals in Panama 

One of the most famous hospitals in Panama City is Punta Pacifica which is affiliated with John Hopkins Hospital. They have the most technologically advanced facilities. Another hospital with affiliations is the San Fernando Hospital, with relations to Tulane University in New Orleans, Miami Children’s Hospital and Miami’s Baptist Health Center.




Author: Aaron Jay Lev

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