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Expat Healthcare & Health Insurance in La Chorrera, Panama

An expat in La Chorrera, Panama talks about a car accident that required a visit to the public hospital - followed up with a visit to a private doctor for stitches. In his opinion, the care at the public hospital was subpar to the US.

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Expat Healthcare Advice for La Chorrera

Being from the U.S. it's hard to say medical care is better, but the difference is it's 1/10th the cost to get the same type of medical care. Don't be afraid that you're going to get 3rd world medical care in a foreign country. Also, just as in the U.S., don't be afraid to ask questions or to give your opinion of what you think needs to be your course of treatment.

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Quality of Healthcare in Surrounding Area

I was in a public hospital overnight for an open wound on the back of my arm caused by a car accident. The care, and the food, in the public hospital was subpar to standard treatment in the U.S., but as soon as I left the free public hospital and went to a private Dr. at his office, which is open 7 days a week 365 days a yea. Once at the office the Dr. came outside to the car I was riding in and looked at my elbow and said, it need some stitches here, here and here and I can fix it right up. I told him that's exactly what I'd said to the ambulance drivers the day before. So, I went inside and about 45 minutes later I was sewn back together and good to go.

Prescription Medicines

Many common prescriptions are available over the counter just by talking to the pharmacist.

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Expat Health Insurance in Panama

In the event described above my experience was at least as good as I would have gotten in the U.S. This included the Dr. spending about 45 minutes sewing up the large wound in the back of my arm, 4 return visits for him to look at it to make sure it was healing properly and there was no infection. And on the other days if I hadn't taken and picture by noon to send to him and given an update that it was ok he sent me a text message to ask what was going on. On the 7th day I returned and had the stitches removed all for a grand total of $100. Keep in mind this was an open wound torn open on the pavement that was about a 2" circle exposing the muscle and tendons, this wasn't just a simple cut with stitches. There's a scar but I was amazed at how well it turned out. Not very noticeable unless I just raise my elbow and point it out.

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