I'm in the process of preparing a move to Panama later this year. I will be needing to have some form of hip surgery at some point in the fairly near future and and am wondering if Panama would be a good place to consider to have it done. I would therefore be very interested to hear from anybody on the forum who would be prepared to share their experience in this regard or anybody who might have useful information or contacts who I might speak with. Thank you for your attention.
I needed a hernia surgery a year ago, and after having a not so great introduction with a private hospital in Panama, I did some searching too.
Through Expat Exchange Colombia, I received a recommendation to try Pablo Tubon Uribe hospital, and Dr. Fred Naranjo in Medellin. I don't know if he performs hip surgery, but I was very satisfied with everything I experienced. The cost was about 2/3 of what it would have cost here in Panama. God only knows what it would have cost in the States.
They have a medical tourism office offering translation help as well.
IMO it would be a good idea to have your hip replacement surgery in your home country before you arrive, for the following reasons: -finding a competent orthopaedic surgeon would be easier -there might be a better selection of prostheses in your homeland -organizing rehabilitation and/or home care, and physiotherapy also would be easier -you’d presumably still be covered by insurance in your homeland. There’d be a 2-year wait for insurance with a pre-existing condition in Panama. -feeling puny in an unfamiliar country and perhaps an unfamiliar language might be a challenge. -best to start your new life in Panama in shape and in form.
Thanks. For reasons I won't go into this is not the option I will be taking. I will almost certainly have it done somewhere in the world and there are many well researched options. Since I am coming to Panama I would like to consider that as one possible solution.
Also you need to consider, if you have surgery done in one of the Private Hospitals, like Patilla or Punta Pacific, the price although cheaper than US have gone up considerably in the past 6 years.
If you go to the public hospital here (first hand experience in both Las Tablas and Chitre) it is pretty much self serve. The nurses will provide the medicines and the procedures the doctors order and little else. It is expected that family members will come to the hospital regularly to help you with bathing, feeding and other personal care items. Also, you need to supply everything. Your hospital stay in the includes the bed, mattress and mattress cover. Unless you bring your own bed sheets, pillow, toilet paper etc. You won't have any.
If you can get into the CSS hospital system after you gain residency your level of care goes up considerably, but very difficult to get enrolled, unless you are working here, then your employer has to register you by law.