Panama, with its beautiful beaches, tropical climate, and close proximity to the United States and Canada, is becoming a top destination for tourists seeking qualified medical care at an affordable price.
Tourists coming to Panama for medical care can look forward to a healthcare system based on American standards, medical practices and procedures, and hospitals staffed with U.S. trained and board certified doctors and medical personnel. The Joint Commissions International, which sets standards for hospitals worldwide, currently certifies one hospital in Panama for full patient care. However, the country’s other privately owned hospitals are fully certified and accredited by the Panamanian government and federal medical accreditation bodies to meet the healthcare needs of their tourist patients.
Most of these hospitals hold affiliations with internationally known medical organizations including John Hopkins University, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Medical Center, and Miami Children’s Hospital.
Whether you are looking to get a hip or knee replaced, wanting breast augmentation, or searching for the latest in stem cell therapy, doctors in Panama are current on the latest techniques and procedures. Common services for medical travelers include cosmetic and plastic surgeries, orthopedic surgeries, fertility treatments, bariatric and obesity surgeries, cancer treatments and oncology, and the latest in eye surgeries, including LASIK and cataract surgery.
Additionally, your medical costs in Panama can run anywhere from 35% to 85% cheaper than they would in the United States depending on the procedure. For example, in vitro fertilization at a US hospital typically costs between $9,000 and $18,000. In Panama, the same procedure will run you $4,000 to $6,000 -- a savings of 55% to 75%. On an average, medical treatment in Panama is 50% to 60% cheaper than you’ll find in the United States.
While you’re visiting Panama for your medical treatment, you’ll be able to enjoy all the culture and sights of this beautiful Central American country without worrying about a language barrier or currency issues.
The main language of Panama is Spanish, but almost all Panamanians speak some English with around a quarter of those speaking it fluently, particularly in the business and professional sectors. English is taught in the schools and Panamanians have a literacy rate of approximately 88%. Outside of the urban areas, you’ll find native languages spoken in the AmerIndian tribal communities, including among them some Buglere, Yue, and Teribe speakers. Some Panamanians even speak a Latinized version of the Creole French and Creole English spoken in Quebec and Louisiana in North America.
Because of its close historical ties to the United States, Panama uses the American dollar, as well as its own Balboa, as currency. A fixed exchange rate of 1:1 established in 1903 when the US took over the building of the Panama Canal means that your dollar and the Panamanian Balboa are virtually interchangeable in the marketplace. Panama no longer prints the Balboa but currently mints coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 centesimos. The coins are identical in shape and size to US coins and can be easily confused with American money. Since the exchange rate never changes, this is not a problem for tourists.