Category Archives: Healthcare

Another Health Care Experience

The following came in as a general comment on the David Hospitals, but I decided it would fit better as a guest post.

Too many people come to Panama with false expectations about healthcare and wind up frustrated or worse.

One of these days I will have another followup of experiences learned durning the care of MC.

Planing on living in Panama? Better have a grasp on basic Spanish if you want to survive many healthcare needs.

My husband was seen first in Boquete clinic..they did some tests  gave an IV.The test results showed an infection.Dr.Chen recommended a David hospital.We headed there got in right away at CHIRIQUI.

They took blood started an IV. We waited two hours for a doctor. Then I needed to head back to Boquete  to get the children to bed (school today). I called my husband several times still no doc. Then went to 11:00 the hospital called and said I needed to come in immediately  to pay $1100.00 for the emergency  room. $500.00 for admission fee and $600.00 for other fees not the testing.I told them I was not driving from the mountains at 11 at night to pay a bill.I was hesitant  to give them my debit card.They said he would need to leave then. This is all very broken english…she put me on hold and told me I could pay in the morning when I come in.

I just talked to my husband..he still has not seen a Dr. Or a nurse that speaks english.It is nine am. I will be heading in to pick him up and take him back to Boquete  clinic. They even wrote extensive notes for David hosp. They may be withholding care until that bill is paid.My husband said No one has come in except to change IV bags.He is very sick..Dr.Chen thinks he needs IV antibiotics….I didn’t think I needed to bring a translator.

Too much false info on these blogs.One has to live here to really know what it is like….We love it here…just need to figure out good health care.
I checked put flights to US . BUT don’t think Eric could make the 27 hours.



Yesterday I went to the Regional Hospital to get a PAW (Privacy Act Waiver) signed by a man from Boquete so the Embassy could talk to his family.

Another lady from Boquete was on the third floor in intensive care that I didn’t see.

Met another man in the Emergency room from Boquete that had an infection and was waiting for an antibiotic injection. Said he had been waiting inside the Emergency area for over and hour and hadn’t seen anyone.

Asked to see another man that had called me from the Emergency area the previous day. The hospital records showed he had been admitted the previous day, but had no record of where he was.

He lived a couple blocks from Cuesta de Sol in David. He was the victim of an armed home invasion and suffered a broken rib. Phone, PC, and money were taken. I am a little concerned that the hospital had not other records for him.

Pardon my Rant

While I was waiting for Marion to finish a laboratory test last week, I started thinking about some of the recent discussions on some of the local forums.

Entirely too many people are moving to Panamá with no plan for their healthcare. This really concerns me.

They my be ignorant about Medicare not covering them in Panama. They may think their health is good and they don’t need insurance. They may not have money for insurance and think healthcare in Panama is cheap. They may think the country healthcare system won’t turn them away.

Let’s consider these thoughts.

First people need to understand that Medicare is not valid outside of the USA. If that is their plan, then they are not covered. They will not be admitted to any private hospital in case of emergency without providing proof of payment, often $4,000 dollars or more for admittance.

One should never think that good health is a reason not to have insurance coverage. Look are the increase in home invasions sending people to the hospital. Home invasions, automobile accidents, being in the wrong place at wrong time. Many things can send you to a hospital.

Since I moved here the private hospitals are becoming more insistent on proof of payment prior to admission. The minimum I have heard was $4,000 and normally it is $5,000 or more and depending on what the hospital expects the total care to be, it may request a payment plan. Continue reading Pardon my Rant

Dangerous Little Suckers

Today, I saw THIS ARTICLE, on the internet, saying there were over 100 cases of dengue in Hawaii. Many newcomers to Panama have never heard of dengue until they come down with it.

This is one disease you do not want to mess with. As you can see from the following map, Dengue is no stranger to Central and South America.


If you are new to Panama or in the process of moving to Panama, you would be wise to educate yourself about this disease. You are infected by mosquitos and this disease becomes more dangerous with each infection.

You can be infected with Dengue four times and each stage is progressively more dangerous. While the first stage is very painful, it is rarely fatal provided that it is correctly diagnosed. However, the forth stage is usually fatal.

Since the disease is spread by mosquitos, It is very important to remove all potential breeding areas of standing stagnating water, such as old discarded tires, trash, etc.

MC Update November 6

It has been about eight days since my last update.

For those just tuning in, this is a followup to THIS POST.

Let me start off by making something clear. This is a slow process. I went to the hospital yesterday morning and there were some visitors hoping to see Marion and had heard she was very much improved to the point that she might be released soon.

I had seen her the previous day, in the morning and the evening, and she was having a bad day. She was having difficulty breathing. Then, yesterday morning when I saw her, there had been no improvement. I could tell she was concerned.

I spoke with the doctor and he said they had found fluids in her lungs again. He said his plan was to drain the fluids. He called me about 1 PM yesterday and said he had talked to Marion and explained the situation. He explained the procedure to me, and said the procedure was scheduled for 3PM. Continue reading MC Update November 6