Health care in Panama

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Health care in Panama is provided through a system through the government and a private sector. The public sector is funded through the Ministry of Health and the social security System.

Problems with the public health care system are in the countryside where lack of funding creates a shortage of beds for their number of patients. The majority of doctors prefer to live in Panama City where there are higher patient loads and more economic opportunity.

EMS systems are primarily in Panama City where 911 service is available. Outside of Panama City and David, EMS services drop off dramatically. Boquete has limited capability despite a large ex-pat population.

Rapid tourism expansion further strains the response in remote areas. While limited medical coverage for tourists is available, many do not know about it or where to obtain their insurance card.

Prices are significantly cheaper than in the United States or other highly developed nations, but in comparison to the average Panamanian wage is proportionally equal. Some doctors are highly trained in the United States but few are board-certified. However, many are trained in high quality medical schools in Spain, Mexico, Panama, and a few in Cuba.

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