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Panama is a young republic with a growing economy and has in the last four decades experienced gradual changes in its health determinants that have made it possible to overcome many of the challenges that communicable diseases usually impose upon developing countries.  However, due to the model of development and the redistribution policies that the country follows have generated trends of social and epidemiological polarization that have resulted in poverty levels that are approximately forty percent.  The population in 2010 was 3,516,820.  In terms of the Human Development Index Panama is ranked number 58.  It has a Gini index of 52.3.

Due to the social and demographic transition, new challenges have emerged that demand special attention to the younger and aging populations, while still encouraging advances in infant/maternal health.  Currently, needs and priorities linked to the advances of the country in the achievement of the MDGs, have been identified, including: the reduction of poverty, access to social benefits and employment, the reduction of malnutrition, gender equality, the reduction of family violence, the strengthening of institutions and communities for the development of health promotion strategies, disease prevention, the reduction of maternal and child mortality, the development of a comprehensive care model, the strengthening of the regulatory frameworks that ensure the sustainability of the environment, and the promotion of new mechanisms of citizen participation.  

Panama has a noteworthy health expenditure (8.4% of GDP) which demonstrates the efforts of the country and the families in the achievement of better health.  However, greater integration would make the healthcare system more efficient in the management of resources and more effective in exercising its administrative role.  Because of this, Panama may be able to meet its objectives of reducing disparities in the access to healthcare, which would have a significant impact on the marginalized rural, urban, and indigenous populations.

Communities in Panama

Faces Voices and Places Panama 

Santa Fe De Veraguas (Veraguas)


Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:15