International Living Magazine

Panama offers good-quality medical care and modern hospitals in the metropolitan areas. The more isolated your location, the farther you are from first-rate medical care. There is a great medical center with modern facilities in the city of David in the Chiriqui Province in the western region of Panama. Many Panamanian doctors are U.S.-trained, and the standards at the top hospitals compare favorably to those in the United States.

Private health insurance is available and much less expensive than insurance in the United States because 1) doctors' fees and hospital visits are much cheaper; 2) malpractice insurance is very low, because the laws do not allow for frivolous lawsuits; and 3) the median income is around $300 a month, so health care cannot be expensive or no one would use it.

Prices for prescription drugs are low as well, because manufacturers price them for the market. Plus, many drugs that require a prescription in the States are available over the counter in Panama.