More Encounters with the Panama Health Care System

Ma went back to see the eye doctor. It’s dryer and windier here now so her allergies and dry eyes were bothering her more. She got some different eye drops and a referral to an allergist. Again, we just showed up at Mae Lewis Hospital in the afternoon when we knew the doctors would be in. The very nice and helpful secretary put her on the list, and we waited maybe 20-30 minutes while the doctor attended to others ahead of us. Again, Ma felt like she was well cared for and had all the time she needed with the doctor. I think she was in there about 20 minutes. Cost, $25.

The GP doctor wanted some blood tests to check some medication levels so we figured we may as well get this done while we were there. We were directed to the lab where I explained what we wanted (no – where is your chart? Where are your signed doctors orders? Where are your billing forms? Fill out these forms please. etc. They just asked for name, birthday, address)  They understood what we needed, put it in the computer, sent me to the cashier to pay for it, and as soon as they had the receipt in hand they did the work (gently and professionally, as competent as any lab tech I’ve encountered in the US) I was told we could come back and pick up the results after 7PM (in about 2 hours!). If a doctor wants the results, show the receipt and the results can be looked up in the computer.

The cost was $50 for a thyroid panel, 4 tests. I’m not sure how this compares in the US. I figure when Ma goes back to the GP we can get a copy to find out the exact names of the tests and then I can look on line and see if I can get some US prices for comparison.

I have more blog posts in the works but we have been out and about a lot in the last few days. Hopefully today I’ll have some time for catching up on both reading and writing!

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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3 Responses to More Encounters with the Panama Health Care System

  1. allison says:

    Allow me to help with comparison here lol. My daughter (age 20) had blood work done at her last GYN visit. Five tests were performed (hormonal related tests as well as thyroid level test). OUR PORTION TO PAY was $146. WITHOUT insurance it would have cost us $950 (of course without insurance I would have asked for a HUGE discount). So in my book, $50 for four tests is peanuts! Due to malpractice insurance and college tuition skyrocketing, our health premiums and out of pocket co-pays are going to go along with that. Panama here I come!

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  2. cftc10 says:

    Reblogged this on cftc10.

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