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Top 5 Hospitals for Expats in Panama

If you are planning on making a move down to the lush tropics of Panama, why not take a moment to learn a little something about the Panama health care system and where to find hospitals that will offer quality and expat friendly care.

Luckily, you won’t have to look far. Equipped with two branches of health care, public and private, Panama is recognized for its world class institutions and qualified medical professionals. But in a country with such a strong health care system, where should you go to find the best possible care?

The Best of the Best

1. Hospital Punta Pacifica

Hospital Punta Pacifica

First on the list is Hospital Punta Pacifica. A full-service private hospital praised for its trained physicians and immaculate facilities, Punta Pacifica is not only the only John Hopkins affiliated hospital in Panama, but in Central America as well.

Hospital Punta Pacifica employs over 350 medical specialists, and through the use of continuing education programs, these specialists are constantly updated to keep their knowledge current. This hospital can be found in Punta Pacifica, and although it is one of the more expensive institutions in Panama, inside you can expect to receive first rate care at the hand of qualified professionals.

2. Paitilla Hospital (Centro Médico Paitilla)

Centro Médico Paitilla

Next on the list is Paitilla Hospital. Located in Punta Paitilla, this facility is one of the oldest private hospitals in Panama and is a great choice for expats since most of the staff speak English.  This is due to the fact that many of the doctors completed residencies in the United States and Europe before settling in at Paitilla Hospital.

While best known for its oncology unit, Paitilla Hospital is staffed with medical professionals that specialize in many different branches of medicine. Some of their  departments include:

  • Radiology and imaging
  • Laboratory and anatomic pathology
  • Cancer center
  • Critical care unit for newborns and adults, and
  • Cardiac catheterization unit

3. Hospital Chiriqui

Hospital Chiriqui

Hospital Chiriqui, located in the city of David (near the Costa Rica border), is an institution with a reputation for providing exceptional medical care for over twenty years now.

The Hospital Chiriqui is a private hospital staffed with medical professionals that specialize in anesthesiology  cardiology, reconstructive surgery, dermatology, and radiology (to name a few). In order to keep providing quality patient care, the Hospital Chiriqui is currently developing a clinic in the small town of Boquete, Chiriqui that will provide services like ambulance, pharmacy and primary health care to patients, twenty-four hours a day.

4. Hospital Nacional

Hospital Nacional

If you visit Hospital Nacional, located in the Bella Vista area of Panama City, you can expect to receive quality care. This hospital is staffed with over 100 specialists and has an impressive nurse to patient ratio (one nurse per every ten patients). This facility also offers a diverse range of patient services like:

  • A clinical laboratory
  • A pathology laboratory
  • A genetics center
  • An emergency room
  • and an intensive care unit

Hospital Nacional is also welcoming to out-of-towners for they even accept international health care plans.

5. Hospital Santa Fe

Hospital Santa Fe

Last on the list is the Hospital Santa Fe. Nestled in the center of Panama City and located mere minutes from the Panama Canal, the Hospital Santa Fe concentrates on creating individual health care plans that are patient specific. Founded in 1984, Hospital Santa Fe uses the latest technology, state-of-the-art equipment, and many English speaking, American-trained doctors to treat their patients.

Hospital Santa Fe is also on-board with the new wave of medical tourism and offers many health tourism packages that claim to provide the same quality care as American hospitals at a more affordable rate.


So before you pack your suitcase and whisk off to Panama, be sure to look into the local health care system and the available hospitals, so that when the time comes, you can make an educated and confident decision.

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4 thoughts on “Top 5 Hospitals for Expats in Panama

  1. Thomas Schultze

    Good afternoon from Nova Scotia, Canada.

    My wife and I, both retired, are contemplating spending a few years in Panama. We have an adopted daughter, 21 years of age, who suffers from autism spectrum disorder and bi-polar disorder. She is at present in a long term psychiatric care facility near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    We have two questions:

    1. Which of the five hospitals you have listed would offer psychiatric treatment and/or support?

    2. What would the approx. cost of treatment be, once we are residents?

    I would be grateful for a brief e-mail answer.


    Thomas Schultze

  2. 2

    Greetings, I am looking for a western doctor that can give a certificate for fitness for employment with a european company
    Thank you kindly

  3. Roger Pelletier

    I AM interested to have a facial face lift ( not extensive). I AM TOLD THE DOCTORS ARE U.S. EDUCATED . PLEASE ADVISE ME ,,

  4. Susan Lyons Jerry Cutler

    We are Canadians living in the US considering Panama. Does your facility offer a health plan or a “membership? If it does, What is/are the costs?
    I am 80in good health save for genetic open-angle glaucoma, My wife Sue has atrial fib, on Warfarin, bisoprolol, cartia.
    Thank you.

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