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Essential Guide to the Health System in Panama City, Panama

Health Care in Panama City: Locate providers, hospitals, and medical centers to find the best health services available for expats and nomads.
Essential Guide to the Health System in Panama City, Panama

Panama City has both public and private healthcare systems. The public healthcare system is called the Caja de Seguro Social (CSS). It is used by both locals and foreigners, including expats and digital nomads. People generally recommend using public hospitals in Panama City for serious medical emergencies and major surgery. Public hospitals in Panama City are generally crowded and understaffed, but they are free or low cost and provide quality care. Expats and digital nomads are allowed to use the public healthcare system in Panama, but many prefer to use private hospitals. Private hospitals in Panama City are more expensive, but they are well-equipped and provide excellent care. People recommend using private hospitals for serious medical emergencies and major surgery.

Hospitals and Clinics for Expats in Panama City

There are several recommended clinics and hospitals in Panama City for expats. Clinica Hospital San Fernando is a private hospital located in the heart of Panama City. It specializes in cardiology, oncology, and neurology. Clinica Hospital Punta Pacifica is a private hospital located in the Punta Pacifica neighborhood. It is affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine and specializes in advanced medical treatments. Hospital Nacional is a public hospital located in the San Miguelito district. It is the largest public hospital in Panama City and provides quality care. Hospital Santo Tomas is a public hospital located in the El Chorrillo district. It specializes in trauma and emergency care.

Emergency Services in Panama City

Panama City has ambulance services that can be called for emergencies. The number to call is 911. Ambulances usually arrive quickly, but there can be delays depending on the time of day and the location.

Health Insurance Companies in Panama City

The most popular private health insurers in Panama City are ASSA, Mapfre, and Blue Cross. Expats and digital nomads typically use these companies or specialized expat health insurance providers.

Insider Tips from Expats in Panama City: Health Care

“Panama City offers a wide range of medical services, including both public and private hospitals and clinics. The public hospitals are generally well-equipped and staffed with experienced medical professionals, while the private hospitals offer more specialized services and treatments. In addition, there are a number of pharmacies and medical supply stores located throughout the city. Many of the larger hospitals also offer emergency services, and there are a number of medical centers that specialize in specific areas of medicine. The city also has a number of medical tourism options, with many international patients coming to Panama City for medical treatments,” commented one member living in Panama City, Panama.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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