Emergency Medical Services Tips for US Citizens Traveling to Russia

What are the emergency medical services like in Russia?

Emergency medical services in Russia are provided by the Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM). EMERCOM operates an extensive network of specialized medical and rescue units throughout the country. The agency is responsible for providing emergency medical care and rescue services, including ambulance response, medical evacuation, and emergency resuscitation services. In addition, EMERCOM operates several medical research and training centers to ensure that their personnel have the necessary skills to provide quality emergency medical care and rescue services. The agency provides emergency medical response to a wide range of medical emergencies, from cardiac arrest to trauma-related injuries.

How does the healthcare system work, and what are the options for medical care in Russia?

The healthcare system in Russia is a mix of public and private health services. The government has made a concerted effort to improve the system since the fall of the Soviet Union, and there are now a variety of options available for medical care in Russia.

Public health services are provided by the state. These include basic primary care, emergency care, and specialist care. Primary care is provided through community clinics and polyclinics, while specialist care is provided at hospitals. In addition to these services, the government also provides subsidies for preventive care, such as vaccinations and screenings.

In addition to public services, there are also a number of private health providers in Russia. These include private clinics, hospitals, and medical centers offering general medical care, specialist care, and alternative medicine. Patients can also opt to receive treatment abroad at a higher cost.

Finally, there are a number of international health insurance providers in Russia that offer coverage for both in-patient and out-patient care. These plans typically cover the cost of medical treatments abroad as well as in Russia.

Are there specific vaccinations or health precautions I should take before traveling to Russia?

Yes, certain vaccinations are recommended for travel to Russia. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio, influenza, and hepatitis A and B. It is also recommended that travelers be up-to-date on routine vaccines such as the ones for chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza. It is also advisable to take antimalarial medication if visiting certain areas of Russia. Additionally, it is important to drink only bottled or boiled water, and avoid unpasteurized dairy products and raw foods.

What is the local emergency number for medical assistance in Russia?


Are there English-speaking healthcare professionals available in Russia?

Yes, there are English-speaking healthcare professionals available in Russia. There are a number of international hospitals in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other large cities that offer medical services with English-speaking staff. Additionally, many clinics and hospitals have some staff members who speak English.

Is travel insurance with medical coverage recommended, and what does it typically cover in Russia?

Travel insurance with medical coverage is highly recommended for travel to Russia. It typically covers medical care, trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical evacuation, lost luggage, and accidental death and dismemberment. It also typically covers emergency medical services such as doctor visits, hospitalization, medication, and evacuation to one’s home country. It may also provide coverage for repatriation of remains.

How do I locate the nearest hospital or medical clinic in Russia?

The best way to locate the nearest hospital or medical clinic in Russia is to search online for “hospitals near me” or “medical clinics near me” and add the city or region you are in. This should display a list of nearby hospitals and medical clinics in the area. You can also visit the website of the local government and search for healthcare providers in the area. Additionally, you can ask locals for recommendations on where to find a hospital or medical clinic in the area.

Are there any health risks or concerns specific to Russia that I should be aware of?

Yes, there are a few health risks and concerns specific to Russia to be aware of. These include the risk of foodborne illnesses from contaminated food, the risk of vector-borne diseases such as tick-borne encephalitis, the risk of exposure to radiation due to the Chernobyl disaster, and the risk of contracting Hepatitis A due to poor sanitation in some areas. Additionally, visitors should be aware that air pollution in some cities can reach hazardous levels, and that healthcare services outside major cities can be limited.

What over-the-counter medications are available locally in case of minor illnesses in Russia?

Over-the-counter medications available in Russia include:

• Pain relief medications such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, aspirin, and codeine
• Anti-allergy medications such as cetirizine and loratadine
• Cold and flu medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and pseudoephedrine
• Cough and throat lozenges such as glycerin, mallow, and propolis
• Antacids such as ranitidine and famotidine
• Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine
• Eye drops such as naphazoline and tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride
• Antifungal creams such as miconazole and clotrimazole
• Antiseptic creams such as bactroban and fucidin

Can I use my U.S. health insurance for medical services in Russia, or do I need additional travel insurance?

You cannot use your U.S. health insurance for medical services in Russia and you will need additional travel insurance. It is best to purchase a travel insurance plan that includes medical coverage for your trip to Russia.

What medical documentation or records should I carry with me while traveling to Russia?

You should carry a valid medical certificate confirming your vaccinations, including documentation of the Russian-required diphtheria-tetanus and polio vaccines (measles, mumps, rubella for children). You should also have copies of any prescriptions, your doctor’s contact information, and a list of any allergies or medical conditions. In addition, if you are taking any medication with you, it is a good idea to carry a copy of the prescription as well as a letter from your doctor confirming that the medication is necessary for your health.

Are there any restrictions or regulations regarding the import of medications into Russia?

Yes, there are restrictions and regulations regarding the import of medications into Russia. All medications and other pharmaceutical products must be registered with the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) before they can be imported into Russia. All medications must also carry a valid Russian registration label, and should be accompanied by a certificate of quality control or a certificate of conformity. In addition, all imported medications must be accompanied by a valid medical prescription, a copy of which should be provided to the Russian customs authority.

How can I access prescription medications or medical supplies in Russia?

Prescription medications and medical supplies can be accessed in Russia from pharmacies, which are known as apteki. You may need to provide a valid prescription from a doctor for certain medications, and you may also be required to present your passport. For medical supplies such as bandages, syringes, and other items, you can find them in most drugstores or medical supply shops.

Are there reputable pharmacies or medical facilities in popular tourist areas of Russia?

Yes, there are reputable pharmacies and medical facilities in popular tourist areas of Russia. Examples include pharmacies such as Farmacy 36.6 and medical facilities such as City Clinical Hospital No. 49 in Moscow, and pharmacies such as Laskoo in St. Petersburg. In addition, there are several international hospitals in Moscow and St. Petersburg which offer high-quality care for tourists.

What should I do in case of a medical emergency, and how can I get assistance quickly in Russia?

In case of a medical emergency in Russia, you should call the emergency services hotline at 112. This is the unified number which connects you with the ambulance, fire brigade, police, and other emergency services. You should provide as much information as possible to the operator when calling including your location, the type of emergency, and any medical symptoms you may have. The operator will be able to direct you to the nearest emergency care facility or send an ambulance to your location.

Are there specific health and safety measures I should follow to prevent common illnesses in Russia?

Yes, there are specific health and safety measures you should follow to prevent common illnesses in Russia. These include:

– Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
– Avoid contact with sick people
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
– Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
– Get vaccinated against measles, rubella, and other common illnesses
– Avoid contact with wild animals and never eat raw or undercooked meats or seafood
– Drink only bottled or boiled water and avoid ice cubes in drinks
– Wear insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites
– Monitor the local news for any changes in health advisories

Are there any cultural or legal considerations regarding medical care in Russia?

Yes, there are several cultural and legal considerations regarding medical care in Russia. Medical care is largely provided by the state, so individuals must comply with the regulations and guidelines set by the Ministry of Health and the state health system. Additionally, cultural norms and values related to medical care vary significantly across different regions of Russia, so individuals should be aware of the specific customs in their local area. There are also legal considerations, such as the need for patients to obtain a prescription from a doctor before they can buy certain medications, and the requirement for foreigners to show their passport when seeking medical care.

What is the availability of emergency medical evacuation services in Russia?

Emergency medical evacuation services are available in Russia, although this service is typically only provided by the Russian government or private companies. Russian hospitals have the capability to provide medical evacuation services, but it is important to note that those services may not be available in all parts of the country. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the cost of medical evacuation services can be expensive and requires payment up front prior to service.

Are there any specific health advisories or warnings for travelers to Russia?

Yes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all travelers to Russia be up to date on routine vaccinations, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. They also recommend that travelers are up to date on routine vaccines such as hepatitis A and B, and a typhoid vaccine. Due to the increased risk of tick-borne encephalitis, it is also recommended that travelers get the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine before traveling to rural areas. The CDC also advises travelers to practice safe food and water precautions while in Russia. Additionally, mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus may be present in parts of Russia, so travelers should take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

What is the cost of medical services, and is it common to pay out-of-pocket in Russia?

The cost of medical services in Russia is highly variable and depends largely on the type of care being sought. Generally, basic medical services in Russia tend to be relatively inexpensive. In terms of out-of-pocket payments, it is not uncommon for patients to pay for an increased level of care or for more expensive services. It is important to note that many Russians are covered by state health insurance, so the cost of medical services may vary depending on an individual’s insurance coverage.