A Short History of Medical Care In Panamá
I was recently asked about the healthcare available in the Coronado area of Panamá. In order to answer that question and at the same time, give you a more holistic view of healthcare in general in Panamá (so you don't have to worry), we can look to portions of the history of Panamá.
Panamá has traditionally been known by other nations as a passageway to move from the Atlantic to the Pacific and vice-versa. Since the construction of the Panamá Canal (one of the Eight Wonders of the World; inaugurated in 1914), every effort has been made to improve the quality of this passageway in every aspect, for the benefit of the residents of Panamá. At the time of the original construction, the area had to be largely eradicated of mosquitos, as well as addressing some diseases and other things that had to be done at the time. (The picture to the left is of the Panamá Canal in 1915.)
As a result of the need to address the health-related concerns, some time later, the Gorgas Institute was inaugurated, and until the present time, is a valuable center for investigation. There is also "Barro Colorado", run by the Smithsonian Institute, another scientific center where great things has been accomplished for the benefit of the humanity.
For the historical reasons mentioned above, in combination with Panamá’s extraordinary medical schools at the National University (state), and other private universities, where graduates have an international level of education, and many, many of them continue abroad their secondary studies and special degrees, enables Panamá to offer to their locals, visitors and resident foreigners a high quality of medical care, not only in English and Spanish, but other languages as well. (This is all not to mention that the government of Panamá offers a courtesy 30 day complete medical care to their visitors. Just ask for your brochure at your arrival.)
In the main cities and towns of Panamá, including of course, Coronado, as well as other parts of the country like Chorrera, David, Isla Colón (Bocas del Toro), Colón, and of course, the city of Panamá, you always find health centers, clinics of all types, pharmacies, and hospitals that have excellent and modern hospitals of all kinds, even connected to major hospitals in the United States, like Johns Hopkins, and hospitals in Miami and Texas.
And the best part is that the prices are so competitive that foreigners can´t believe it. Sometimes a medical clinic office visit is $15.00 (walk in) including lab, and other the cost for other facilities. Of course, you also find specialists who charge up to $150, depending on how complicated is the case. You also find hundreds of medical spas with high technology. Medical tourism is very popular in Panamá, due the excellence of the work, and the prices.
The main hospitals in Panamá where you find complete hospitalization care are: Punta Pacífica, Paitilla, Santa Fé, San Fernando, Clínica Nacional, Clínica Bella Vista. Others with lower prices are: San Judas Tadeo, Río Abajo, and Santo Tomás (a state hospital, with one of the best trauma centers in the region).