Forums

Photo Gallery

Site map
Search
0The virtual community for English-speaking expats and Russians
  Main page   Make it home    Expat list   Our partners     About the site   FAQ
Please log in:
login:
password:
To register  Forgotten your password?   
  Survival Guide   Calendars
  Phone Directory   Dining Out
  Employment   Going Out
  Real Estate   Children
   Saturday
   June 12
Ask the Dentist
Ask the Realtor
Survival Guide
Phone Directory
 Post a question
 Back to questions list
 Read earlier questions
Ask the Doctor
Free Medical Advice sponsored by
Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
I am considering a move to Moscow from Boston, Mass. Before I get to deep into my planning, I wish to find out about what kind of health care I can expect to find. Also, how would I (as an ex-pat) take care of medical needs and filling perscriptions? (I'm on stuff for acid-reflux and migraines.) I don't need detailed answers (although I would take them), but a few general pointers where I can do research would be appreciated! Thanks!
dlk 
Answer:
In Moscow it is certainly possible to get good medical and dental outpatient care at a premium, but in more serious cases you may wish to avoid hospitalization in Russia. Despite very good medical training of doctors from the 'Soviet' era, because of the effects of the economic crises on health care infrastructure, many cases requiring surgical intervention or prolonged, specialized hospitalization are recommended to be evacuated to Helsinki or London. Hospitalization in the smaller cities and rural areas should be avoided. The overall health care system in these areas has generally deteriorated since the collapse of the Soviet Union. English is spoken only by a very small percentage of Russian health care workers, and good communication of medical problems is often difficult. Hygiene standards are sometimes poor, and local hospitals may lack basic medications and supplies. If you have a mobile phone that functions in Russia, take it with you to any consultation outside the main centers for translation advice. In the main centers an English-speaking doctor in the relevant specialty can usually be arranged. Almost no hospitals or clinics accept credit card payments; cash deposits and payments in local currency will be required. Guarantees will only be accepted from companies with whom the hospital or clinic has a prior, local contract. Foreign company and insurer guarantees are not accepted. Government sources estimate that a small % of pharmaceuticals sold in Russia are counterfeit but this percentage is expected to grow after the introduction of the VAT. A government department has been established to deal with the problem, but to avoid counterfeit drugs, use larger pharmacies with good reputations where the chances of receiving counterfeit drugs are much lower. Outside Moscow and St. Petersburg, it may be difficult to obtain reliable international-brand medications. Many local pharmacies will stock only locally-manufactured medications, and these may not be reliable. Ambulances are usually hospital-based, and the standard of the ambulances and the training of the staff can vary widely. In many areas of Russia ambulances are "medical taxis" with limited ability to manage medical conditions except in Moscow and other large cities where the "03" ambulance service can provide basic life support and basic transportation to hospital. However this is a Russian-language-only service and the ambulance that is summoned will take the patient to where he/she has been assigned by the shift supervisor rather than what may be the most appropriate hospital; and the medical teams often use procedures, medications and injections not found in your home country. Best advice is to register with a reliable medical provider early after your arrival - before you get sick - and choose a provider that both accepts your medical insurance and has an air ambulance service in the unlikely event that you or your family need it.
Copyright © The Moscow Expat Site, 1999-2021Editor  Sales  Webmaster +7 (903) 722-38-02