Every now and then you hear these noises coming out of the tourism industry about how Panama is the next destination for something called "medical tourism". They've been going at it for years now, and today our pepper-spraying clown on tourism, Shlomo Salmon, beats the drum in El Panama America. Our legislators are certifying more medical centers than just the Punta Pacifica hospital for medical tourism purposes which they claim will be an "enormous injection (sic) of income". And Shlomo Salmon adds that it represents an "interesting model to generate wealth, and Panama is well equipped with its high level of service and the use of the dollar". Note how all they talk about is money.
Well, dear reader, unless you are some sort of a medical thrill-seeker addicted to risky adventures, you may want to think twice before heading over for your next breast implant or other surgical procedure.
First of all, we can't find any reliable information anywhere on how malpractice is being dealt with in Panama. There are no known cases of doctors losing their license because of medical wrongdoing. If something goes wrong, you won't be able to find legal remedies in Panama's notoriously flawed and corrupt court system that is biased against foreigners to boot, so it's a certainty that you'll be out in the cold with your fucked up breasts. Actually, a website called "Panama Expertos" as much as admits that doctors here aren't even insured against malpractice:
Unlike in the U.S., where medicine has become 'Big Money Game' the doctors in Panama are afforded the luxury of still being able to CARE about their patients rather than their medical malpractice insurance rates.
A "luxury" they can obviously only afford knowing that they'll never have to indemnify patients. Comforting, huh?
The other problem that further illustrates the above is the lack of control on medicine. A high profile case about hundreds of people being poisoned and dying because of venomous cough syrup has been dragging on for years now, without the victims having been indemnified or even recognized by the authorities.Wanna stand in line? Come to Panama with a cold!
This medical tourism idea is simply another typical Panamanian flim flam scheme to make a quick buck, one of those grandiose "ideas" they want to implement without making sure that the conditions - oversight, accountability, state of law - to do that responsibly exist.
If this moves forward, we predict a glowing future for the tourism funeral industry. And law firms, of course.