From The Report: Panama 2014
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At the height of its economic success, Panama seems to be seizing the opportunity to expand medical infrastructure. Funding for health in both the public and private sectors is rising along with spending per capita on medical services. Five new hospitals under construction are expected to add 1500 new beds and benefit some 658,000 patients, boosting the quality of health care in areas outside of the capital. A new medical city, known as Ciudad Hospitalaria, will consist of a 31.9-ha, $587.5m facility that will provide 1700 beds, 40 surgery rooms and 200 emergency room beds. Successful expansion of the sector will nevertheless depend on overcoming its most fundamental setback – a lack of medical staff, which could cause significant operational deficits. Indeed, Panama lags behind regional averages in its ratio of medical professionals to population. A new law allowing foreign medical professionals to work in specific jurisdictions could alleviate some of the pressure for the time being.