Local Doctors, Clinics, and Hospitals
Panama has world-class medical facilities and doctors, many of whom were trained in the United States and speak English. Even those without medical insurance can receive good care for far less than it would cost them in the United States. It’s possible to get a checkup from, say, a specialist trained at Johns Hopkins for about US$35.
Note: U.S. Medicare does not cover medical care outside the United States.
Condoms and other nonprescription means of birth control are available at pharmacies. To avoid a visit to a local doctor, those taking birth-control pills should bring a sufficient supply to last while visiting Panama.
Centros de salud (health centers) and small rural hospitals are scattered throughout the country, though they can be poorly staffed and equipped. Serious medical problems should be treated in Panama City if at all possible. Those planning adventurous travel in remote spots may want to consider buying travel insurance that includes emergency evacuation provisions. I strongly advise all travelers to buy at least basic travel insurance.
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition