Medical treatment in Russia is quite expensive, difficult to obtain, and not entirely comprehensive. Some hospitals offer quality services, but the majority of them which are not state hospitals use to restrict services to business hours and for those people who wish to pay for health services in advance. There are several hospitals located in the major cities of Russia – Moscow and St. Petersburg – with English speaking staff and exceptionally client-oriented high quality services, but this service is to be paid respectively.
If you are travelling to Russia, we highly recommend you to purchase a medical insurance that covers medical care in Russia and medical evacuation back to your home country.
Entirely, Russian nationalized medical care is financed by the federal budget and is officially free of charge, but the quality of service may vary.
Most hospitals keep to a bureaucratical regime, so they do not accept people unless they have all the copies of your documents as well as the copy of insurance. Moreover, you should come to the doctor at the time agreed beforehand or stand in a long queue which can take you hours and still if the business hours are over you are supposed to come next day.
Even in state hospitals Russian doctors often demand payment for disposable needles, medications, and some extra services.
The chances of getting a qualified treatment may vary depending on the patient’s wealth. The quality of medical care is extremely low as compared with Western standards. Many hospitals are understaffed, poorly equipped and are in anticipation of further reforms that could bring any successful changes, implement more funds and introduce measures to increase the medical system efficiency.
Most patients from abroad pay in cash and receive reimbursement from their insurance companies upon their return to their home countries.
In case of critical state, a medical evacuation may be the only choice. Medical evacuations are very expensive and all costs must be covered either by the patient or the insurance company.
We kindly advise you check if your insurance company covers medical evacuations before your arrival in Russia.
If you find it diffcult to manage all these arrangements, you can contact your consulate that can try to assist you in organizing medical care upon urgent request.
Please be aware if your medical treatment comes to be the reason of your stay in Russia, so that your visa has expired, you will have to deal with the application for exit visa and provide the Russian authorities with the official document issued by the hospital confirming that you weren’t able to leave Russia until the departure date mentioned on your visa.
We sincerely hope that you will check all this useful information before your trip and will never come across it while in Russia. Enjoy your holidays!