Healthcare and medical care
In principle, public healthcare is free for all Russian citizens. However, there may be large differences between public and private healthcare services and the methods of treatment may vary.
Private hospitals in St Petersburg and Moscow are of a high standard and the level of public healthcare is higher than elsewhere in Russia. In other parts of the country, the treatment conditions fall below western standards. For the most part, the personnel are highly trained even on the public sector, but the units commonly suffer from a lack of resources. Queue times may also be long in public healthcare.
Private hospitals operating in Moscow include
- American Medical Center
- European Medical Center.
In St Petersburg, high-quality treatment is available from
- International Clinic MEDEM
- Euromed Clinic
- American Medical Clinic
- Lahta Clinic.
On these clinics, the personnel speak English and often represent multiple nationalities.
Situated within the Embassy of Finland in Moscow, Finnish Medical Center Moscow offers the services of a general practice specialist in both Finnish and English.
Everyone is entitled to first aid in case of emergency, but the treatment must be paid after it has been completed.
You must have health insurance when applying for a Russian visa. The health insurance must correspond to the requirements set for foreign nationals temporarily staying in Russia. Before travelling to Russia, you should contact your insurance company to request contact information for those private hospitals with which your insurance company has a contract.
The contract hospitals will invoice the insurance company directly. Other hospitals usually require payment in advance with a credit card or in cash.
Please note that in Russia, the risks of payment transactions and travel being disrupted have increased and international money transfers have become more complicated. Credit card companies Visa, American Express and Mastercard have announced that the payment cards issued by them outside of Russia no longer work in Russia. This means that they cannot be used for payments or to draw money from cash machines. Due to these disruptions, you are encouraged to check whether your insurance company can at the moment make financial commitments to its contract hospitals in Russia.
Dental care is usually expensive and some clinics require payment in advance. Dentists are well trained and treatment is available on the private and public sectors. Dentists in the public sector rarely speak English. If you require urgent medical care and choose a place of treatment from the public sector, you should take with you a person who speaks Russian so that they can act as interpreter.
There are several pharmacies in all cities. Hospitals and health stations usually have pharmacies where you can collect your medicines. Moreover, nearly all of the large supermarkets have a pharmacy. Some of the pharmacies are open 24 hours a day. Please note, however, that the pharmacy personnel do not necessarily speak English.
Many medicines that require a prescription in Finland are freely available in Russia. However, some require a prescription from a local doctor (such as anti-depressants and several analgesics).