Doctor $15

I came back from almost three months on the ship, drinking treated ship water, had dental implant surgery with the required massive dose of antibiotics, and along the way to getting back to normal managed to pick up ecoli. It always takes me a while to yield to not feeling well, accept it, and go to the doctor.

So I went to Dr Chen’s office in “downtown” Boquete. He had me go next door for a lab test to confirm his suspicions that I had a parasite. Lab test: $3. Yup! He wrote out my prescriptions … $30 with pensionado discount at local pharmacy … charged me $15 for the office consultation … full payment,not copay … and now 15 days later my appetite has returned and I am cured! Hallelujah!

Had I chosen to go to one of the doctors in David, with my Panama SA insurance, I would have paid $25 for a generalist, or $45 for a specialist … my discounted rate, or co-pay amount with insurance. Go figure.

I always cringe when I hear people talk about moving to Panama because it is “cheaper” and the reason for that is that prices here have doubled for many things since we came here ten years ago. The reason to think about moving to Panama is NOT because it is “cheaper” but because the lifestyle is better for less.  Yes, many things are far less expensive than in the US, although “different.”  But for us it has been the weather, the lifestyle, albeit with some frustrations, and the people, albeit with a few frustrations there as well.  My theological bent is that this side of heaven, there is no “perfect” place.

Just in case you missed it …

Before you pick up and move to Panama … stop, think, do your research …

1. Get and read THE NEW ESCAPE TO PANAMA: OUR EXPERIENCE LIVING & RETIRING IN PANAMA … “Richard tells it like it is!”

2. Take an authentic Panama Relocation Tour … a boots-on-the-ground tour of Panama, the places expats call home, without anybody trying to sell anything, and unrehearsed, unfiltered views from folks who are actually living the adventure.

3. Come down for three to six months and “test drive” living in Panama.

Panama may be the perfect place for you, as it has been for us.  If you don’t take the first step you’ll never know.

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