Medical tourism in Panama (continued)

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It is expected that most patients will be from Canada and the US as they have aging populations, which have over taxed their health care systems, and many people have to wait for months for routine operations. In addition to this the operations are extremely expensive as compared to private medicine in foreign locations such as Panama. Just to get an idea a knee replacement and hip replacement in the US may cost approximately $50 thousand each whereas in Panama it may be approximately $12,000 for the knee and $13,000 for the hip replacement. Liposuction in the US may cost $9,000 whereas in Panama it may be as low as $3,000; breast implants in the US $10,000, in Panama $3,500; Lasik (both eyes) US $4,000, Panama $2,500; in vitro fertilization US $14,500, Panama $3,000. Bear in mind that these are only reference prices to start off with. It is always wise to shop around as well as ask people who may have had operations in Panama. Many doctors in Panama have studied abroad and speak English as well. You may shop around on your own or contact one of the medical tourism companies. Panama also has excellent flight connections to the US as well as Canada and Europe so flying in and out is not much of a problem plus a dollar based economy.

To foster the growth of medical tourism as an industry the Panamanian Association for Medical Tourism was created and there are rumors of a draft bill to promote medical tourism being prepared to be submitted to the National Assembly.

Panama is not only promoting its hospitals and medical infrastructure; there are also certain places specializing in recovery and wellness. There are several spas and wellness clinics in Panama which specialize in recovery packages for medical tourists. There are also spas and resorts which have opened wellness clinics such as Optimal Wellness Clinics in Valle Escondido Resort, Golf & Spa in Boquete which will offer tourists health packages for erectile dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis among other services.



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