Panama Healthcare and Money

By | May 9, 2022

Health care


Vaccination needed receipt required
Eat Drink 5
malaria 4
Typhoid & Polio 3
cholera 2
yellow fever 1


The medical facilities are of a high standard. It is recommended to take out travel health insurance and travel repatriation insurance. An individual first-aid kit should be taken with you and protected according to the temperatures on the way. Check ebizdir for more information.

Notes vaccinations

[1] Yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers entering within 6 days from a WHO-designated yellow fever endemic area. Excluded are travelers who have not left the transit area in the infected areas and transit travelers in Panama. Irrespective of this provision, travelers are recommended to have a yellow fever vaccination because there is a risk of yellow fever transmission throughout the country and especially in the provinces of Darién and Kuna Yala (formerly San Blas) as well as in the districts of Chepo, Chima and Balboa. [2] A vaccination certificate against cholera is not an entry requirement, however, contrary to official regulations, a cholera vaccination certificate may occasionally be required upon entry, particularly when entering from a country where cholera is present and when entering outside the capital’s international airport. Cholera occurs primarily in the provinces of Colon, Comarca de San Blas, Darién and Panama. Since the effectiveness of the vaccination is disputed, it is advisable to seek medical advice in good time before you travel. To protect yourself, you should practice careful drinking water and food hygiene. Vaccination is only recommended in rare cases. [3] Typhoid occurs, poliomyelitis does not. Typhoid vaccination is recommended for backpacking and long-term stays. [4] Year-round malaria risk, mainly malaria tertiana, in the east also malaria tropica (also with chloroquine resistance). There is a medium risk in the rural areas of the provinces on the Caribbean side and in the border area with Colombia, and a low risk in the lower rural areas of the other provinces. Very little or no risk in Canal Zone and urban areas. Sufficient protection against malaria is provided by long-sleeved clothing and mosquito repellent. Medication is only recommended in emergencies in areas mainly affected by malaria. [5] Because of the risk of possible intestinal infections, care must be taken to ensure careful drinking water and food hygiene. The tap water in Panama City is to be used as drinking water, otherwise it should be sterilized. However, mild stomach upset may occur. Bottled water is therefore recommended for the first few weeks of stay, which is available everywhere. When buying packaged water, you should make sure that the original packaging has not been opened. For hygienic reasons, the consumption of drinks and food from street vendors should be avoided. Fish dishes should only be eaten in upscale restaurants. Milk is pasteurized and, like dairy products made from raw milk, meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables, is safe to consume. Caution should be exercised before consuming reef fish and seafood that is offered as a deli in dining restaurants because of possible algae poisoning.

Other risks

The standard vaccinations for children and adults recommended by the Robert Koch Institute (including against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), mumps, measles, rubella, pneumococci and influenza) should be refreshed before the trip if necessary. Chagas disease is brought on by assassin bugs, which are found nationwide. For overnight stays in simple huts and outdoors, insect protection with mosquito nets is recommended. Dengue fever, transmitted by mosquitoes, occurs nationwide. An effective insect repellent is recommended. Hepatitis A and hepatitis B occur. A hepatitis A vaccination is generally recommended. Vaccination against hepatitis B should be given during longer stays and close contact with the local population, as well as for children and young people in general. Leishmaniasis, transmitted by whiteflies, occurs nationwide. Protection is offered by skin-covering clothes and insect repellents. rabies occurs. The main carriers are dogs, cats, forest animals and bats. Vaccination is recommended for backpackers, children, occupational risk groups and for longer stays. In the event of a bite, seek medical attention as soon as possible. The Zika virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The infection often goes unnoticed or only has mild symptoms. previously documented, isolated deaths were mainly related to other pre-existing conditions. The Federal Foreign Office advises pregnant women against non-essential travel to areas with current Zika outbreaks because the virus is suspected of causing microcephaly in the unborn child. There is neither a vaccination nor a medicinal prophylaxis. Consistent compliance with personal mosquito protection measures is recommended. because the virus is suspected of causing microcephaly in the unborn child. There is neither a vaccination nor a medicinal prophylaxis. Consistent compliance with personal mosquito protection measures is recommended. because the virus is suspected of causing microcephaly in the unborn child. There is neither a vaccination nor a medicinal prophylaxis. Consistent compliance with personal mosquito protection measures is recommended.

Health certificate

Foreigners wishing to remain in the country for more than 1 year or permanently must have a negative HIV test in Spanish, certified by the Public Health Department and legalized by the Panamanian Embassy (test preferably by a WHO Collaborating Laboratory).



1 balboa = 100 centesimos. Currency code: B, PAB (ISO code). The US dollar is also legal tender. Banknotes are only available in US dollar bills. Coins come in denominations of 1/10, 1/4, 1/2 Balboa, 5 and 1 Centésimos.

Credit cards

Major credit cards such as Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are accepted in restaurants, hotels and larger shops in Panama City and other major cities. Details from the issuer of the relevant credit card. Outside of larger cities, one is usually dependent on cash. Cash can also be withdrawn with a credit card from ATMs (red inscription “Sistema clave”), the daily limit is currently 200-500 US dollars.


Bank cards With the credit card and pin number, money can be withdrawn from ATMs. The Girocard (formerly ec card) with the Cirrus, Plus or Maestro symbol is accepted worldwide. It can be used in Panama at many ATMs (with red writing “Sistema clave”) with the Cirrus, Plus or Maestro symbol. To be on the safe side, travelers should always have an alternative source of money such as cash. Further information from banks and credit institutes. The daily limit on withdrawals is currently between $200-$500. Attention: Travelers who want to pay with their bank customer card abroad and withdraw money,

Travelers cheques

Traveller’s checks are generally not accepted in Panama.

Bank opening hours

Mon-Fri 08.00-14.00, Sat 08.30-12.00.

Foreign exchange regulations

Unlimited import and export of local and foreign currencies. Amounts equivalent to US$10,000 or more must be declared.

Currency Exchange

Banks and exchange offices exchange money. The exchange of US dollars is not necessary. Note: some stores will not accept banknotes over US$20. Therefore, you should always carry cash in smaller denominations. Western Union has branches across the country that can be used to send money.


Code Symbol Exchange rates (no guarantee)
PAB B/. 1 EUR = 1.04 B/.
1 CHF = 1.24 B/.
1 USD = 1.00 B/.

Panama Money