Working in Panama

Registration with the STRI Visitor's Service Office


  • Once the research project has been approved (click here for more information), all visitors must register with STRI's Visitors Service Office (VSO) 45 days prior to arriving at any STRI Installation.
  • Upon arriving in Panama, all visitors must finalize the registration process in person at the VSO.
  • Once registration is completed, VSO staff will direct visitors to the STRI Office of Protection Services (OPS) to obtain a STRI photo ID that must be worn to obtain access to STRI facilities.

STRI Safety and Security Training and Orientation


  • STRI staff must take annual Safety and Security orientation and training.
  • Visitors must receive orientation in STRI's Safety and Security Policies at the beginning of a visit.
  • Orientation for groups must be coordinated with STRI Safety (212-8099) Security (212-8025) Offices.

Mandatory Accident and Medical Insurance


STRI recognizes that our international scientific visitors are exposed to risk when in the field or laboratory, and may experience unexpected medical problems unrelated to work during their time in Panama. As such, STRI scientific visitors are required to have medical and accident insurance coverage that is valid in Panama.

Proof of medical and accident insurance is a pre-requisite to submit a visit request via the STRI registration site.

Be advised that local practice at private hospitals in Panama requires that the visitor must be prepared to pay for their medical expenses at the time of treatment. STRI strongly encourages visitors to have a credit card with a sufficient credit line for use in the event of a medical emergency.

STRI has an agreement with a private ambulance service to provide emergency transportation services with no cost to the visitor while on our premises in Panama City, BCI, Gamboa and Galeta. This service can be accessed in case of any emergency by calling 212-8911 or 212-8211*. Be aware that emergency transportation to a private hospital or private trauma center does not guarantee admittance.

*NOTE: Although emergency rooms at PRIVATE hospitals in Panama are required by law to provide life-saving emergency treatment, once stabilized, they will dispatch the patient to a public hospital. For all other illness and/or injuries, private hospitals will only grant admission upon submission of a credit card with sufficient credit to cover your medical expenses (usually $3,000 at least).

Panama has a network of public hospitals that will treat a patient regardless of their ability to pay, but waiting times and availability of treatment and medicines may not be comparable to private hospitals.

Medical Treatment


  • In the event of an injury, you should seek medical attention first. There is a private ambulance service for all facilities with the exception of the Bocas, Fortuna and Coiba facilities. The ambulance service must be coordinated by calling the STRI emergency numbers (212-8911 or 212-8211).
  • In addition, alert the STRI Headquarters Security Guard Booth (212-8911 or 212-8211) to activate STRI's Emergency Response Plan.
  • If a person refuses to seek medical treatment when advised to do so by facility emergency response personnel, he/she may be asked to leave the STRI facility.

Accident and Injury Reporting


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