Praise of Panamá fails to answer some questions

I read Mr. Simonson’s letter and was left with some questions. I think it is extremely demeaning to compare the life threatening injuries with multiple fractures and a very complicated rescue effort to his wife’s, as he put it, bump on the head requiring 13 stitches. Most reasonable people would not compare the two injuries or the medical costs of those two incidents. Mr. Simonson did not say if the hospital in David that treated his wife was private or government-run. He paid for the service, but if I bumped my head and needed stitches, I could go to the hospital in Heredia and get medical attention for free (I do pay into CAJA as required by my residency and with my Gold Card I could receive faster attention . . .or so I have been told).

If I suffered life-threatening injuries, I would be at CIMA or Clinica Biblica, and the cost would be high but still a fraction of what it would be in the U.S. Mr. Simonson alluded to the fact that he did not take Panama’s FREE insurance because he was too clever to get sick or have an accident. Is there a catch to their insurance there? I do not know of anyone who would not accept free insurance while visiting a foreign country, but he turned it down. Hmmm.

I am getting tired of hearing about Panamá. Costa Rica had to shut down the borders because of a very dangerous situation there with reports of serious police brutality (one report of a pregnant woman being thrown to the ground and all the police officers laughing about it).

Yahoo ran a story of five great and cheap places to retire, and a town in Panamá was one of them. It was not close to the ocean or Panama City so it sounded a little isolated. Several people replied saying that living in Panamá was dangerous and one went on to say that if you wanted to walk in Panama City you needed two bodyguards (his words). I do not know how expensive Panamá is but I have compared real estate listings on the Internet and see comparable houses with comparable listing prices.

The bottom line is, lay off Costa Rica. If you do not like it, do not move here. If you like Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, etc., etc., move there. But those of us who like it here need not hear all the crepe hangers bad mouthing what we like about it.

James Clarke

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