Medical Tourism is a dumb and dangerous fantasy

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Medical Tourism in Panama, great for those who want the poison experience

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.

2 thoughts on “Medical Tourism is a dumb and dangerous fantasy

  1. Okke, I have said the same for some years now. If a doctor here screws up a patient or worse, kills him, there is no viable legal recourse to resolve the matter. Until the legal system is fixed (ha, ha, ha, not in my lifetime) medical tourism will not happen here. Once they kill or severely maim a few foreigners and word gets out that there is no real legal redress for the problem, that will definitively end the fantasy.

  2. Hmmmmm….Let me think this thru…….You have to be a Panamanian to even practice medicine in Panama..(notice the word “practice”……remember that word!!!) Next , an unwritten rule in Panama….you have be be a “good looking dude” to even go to medical school in Panama. I do not know what the term “good looking dude” might mean, but it is something to chuckle about. Apparently, an ugly super smart dude does not qualify for medical school? The next issue is this…..50% of all young Panamanian men are in the bottom half of their group, and 90% of the rest would not comprehend what I just said.

    Do you think you want a serious medical procedure done here in Panama? Think again, even Panamanians are smarter than that!

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