REPLAY: Surgery and Six Days in the Hospital for $150

Health care costs are out of control in the United States.  Even with health insurance, your out of pocket expenses can eat up your savings.   But in Panama, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the more affordable lifestyle including more affordable health care!

Panama has a two-tier health care system.  There are public hospitals and private hospitals.

chitre panama pubic hospital
This is the public hospital where Carol had surgery

Public hospitals have no monthly fee.  At a public hospital it’s about $2 to see a doctor or $5 for a specialists.  Public hospitals are subsidized by the government to keep the costs low.  You may have to wait longer to see a doctor.  With prices like this, you can see why many foreigners who relocate to Panama decide to not pay for health insurance. With the public hospitals there are no age restrictions and no pre-existing condition restrictions. 

If you get admitted to a public hospital it is a no-frills situation as you’ll learn when you listen to the replay of Carol’s call talking about her experience having surgery and being in the hospital for 6 days.  Her total cost was $150

Private hospitals are for-profit hospitals but even their costs are very affordable.  It’s $15 – $20 to see a doctor at a private hospital.  A specialist is $40 to $50.  You can usually make an appointment and be seen within 24 hours. 

If you need to have surgery or be admitted to the hospital it will cost much more at a private hospital than at the public hospitals and they will usually want at least part of the costs paid upfront. 

Private hospitals are nicer than public hospitals.   Those who prefer to use private hospitals usually get health insurance to help defray the costs just in case there is an emergency.

punta pacifica hospital panama
Punta Pacifica Hospital

Many doctors have a private office outside of the hospital too.

Doctors who work at the private hospitals are required to work a certain number of hours each week at the public hospitals so that’s a good chance you’d see the same doctor regardless of which hospital you go to.

In Panama you can significantly reduce your costs for healthcare.  Affordable healthcare is one of many reasons that people want to relocate to Panama!

Listen to the replay of the conference call with Carol who had surgery at a public hospital during the pandemic.

carol in panama
Carol at her beach house in Panama

After coming on a Panama Relocation Tour, Carol moved to Guarare Panama where she rented a furnished two bedroom house next to the beach for $550 a month.  Recently, she moved to a larger house close to the beach which she rents for $600 a month.

During the call, Carol will discuss why she likes living at the beach area between Chitre and Las Tablas in the Azuero Peninsula.  This area is much more affordable than other beach communities in Panama.  There are many cultural events in this area.  And there many amenities close by in Chitre and Las Tablas.

If you’d like to learn how to relocate to Panama the EASY way, check out the Online Panama Relocation Guide.   It has all the same information that you’d get during a Panama Relocation Tour plus details about the best places to live in Panama, reliable immigration lawyers, honest real estate agents and property managers, how to get your pets in to Panama, how to save 40% on health insurance, and much much more.


Since 2010, Panama Relocation Tours has been helping people, like Carol, relocate to Panama.  We make the whole process EASY and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Debbie says

    Hi Jackie, Carol mentions in this video she’s getting her FBI fingerprints done in Panama City as required for her to get her residency Visa. Is this now possible? So she doesn’t have to get that done in the USA?

    • Jackie Lange says

      you can ONLY get fingerprints done in Panama BUT then they must be sent off the the FBI in the US for the criminal report then that must be sent to a US address so that it can be sent to the State Department for an apostile. You CANNOT get the entire criminal report done in Panama.

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