I’m not saying all hospitals are like this, but here’s one expats story:

“I wanted to write this to let people know about the emergency room at Santo Thomas hospital in Panama City. Last Tuesday the 11th I went to the ER in Chorera I had a catheter installed and it was getting stopped up with blood clots. The doctor was very good and irrigated my bladder and got the clots out and sent me to Santo Tomas because they did not have a urologist on staff in Chorrera. About 1 pm I arrive at Santo Thomas and sit in a room that seems to be the IV room because that seems to be the treatment of the day. I got my initial IV needle at Chorrera so just hook me up. about 10 or 11 at night my wife goes home the night charge doctor comes on and says no food or water till they have a diagnoses. they do three x-rays after the 2 is Chorrera. I sit till 3 in the morning then they decide to put in another catheter this one with a port to irrigating the bladder with an IV. Shortly after installing this it stoops up and they change it. They put me in a bed and start an IV with refrigerated water. Put me in a ward like room with maybe 14 other people in beds and turn the light on over me bed. About 7 in the morning the new charge doctor of the ER is coming to work and I am sticking this IV irrigation tube back into this catheter. He yells at me and tells me to get to not touch it or he will kick me out of the hospital. I comply and tell him that this has come loose and he sends for urologist. He comes and sticks it back in. A little he comes by and I tell him that this catheter is stopped up he looks at the bag and says he does not think so. so I am wetting on myself in the bed. Later still he comes back by and I tell him again it is stopped up then I pee and the blood goes up into the IV bottle. He tells the nurse no problem and finally a young doctor comes to irrigate and unstop the catheter. I also ask the doctor if I could use a nebulizer because I have COPD and I had my own medication for this he said OK. He told my wife that this medicine does not help that it was only in my mind and also that I was old and would die soon anyway then they dismiss me 24 hours later. I went home ate after not eating for 24 hours and drank much water. I had to use my home oxygen for about the next two days to gain my strenght back. This Monday I traveled by COPA to Miami to go the the VA they like to save peoples lives. This doctor at Santo Thomas does not care. I forgot to say this same thing happened about two weeks prior and they sent me home with no real solution at that time also.”

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