Health care in Russia


If you have queries on the Russian health care system, here is an overview of various health services available in the country.

Russia is known to have a two tier health care system. There is a huge gap between those who can access to private health care services and those who depend on the public health care system. Hence the introduction of the compulsory health insurance in 1996. In fact, foreigners as well as Russian nationals have to subscribe to health insurance which provides free health care. However, the Russian health care system still suffers from a lack of modern equipment and qualified staff.

Health care services

Health care services are provided in polyclinics, hospitals and health care centers. Polyclinics are regional health care institutes where you are likely to get screening facilities and receive treatment for chronic diseases, along with specialized treatment such as oncology, obstetrics, etc. As regards health care centers, these provide basic health care services such as immunization, dressings, routine health checks, etc.

On the other hand, specialized hospitals are accessible 24/7 in major Russian cities. All types of health care are provided there. Local hospitals specialize in basic surgery and childbirth.

Health insurance

Foreigners coming from countries having a developed and modern health care system will definitely be disappointed. Hence, you may subscribe to an additional health insurance which may allow you to receive treatment abroad in case of serious illness. Frequent travelers may subscribe to an expat insurance. You will also be covered in other countries. Note that you will be eligible to reimbursement as from the first payment.

You may also subscribe to a local insurance once you are in Russia. This will allow you to benefit from private health care services.


The Pasteur Institute recommends the following vaccines to foreigners traveling to Russia:

  • diphtheria
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • poliomyelitis
  • tetanus
  • typhoid
  • TBE: recommended for stays in the forest zone (campers, forestry workers).

Moreover, you have to be in possession of your health card during your stay in the country.

 Good to know:

Foreigners who are planning to stay for more than three months in Russia have to provide a negative HIV/AIDS screening test result


Avoid drinking tap water in Russia.

Foreigners working in Russia are eligible to the social welfare scheme.

Russian universities prove social protection to foreign students.

Beware of poor quality of medication available in the country, as well as counterfeit medical products.

 Useful links: – Russia forum 
Ministry of Health Care of the Russian Federation
WHO – Russia
International Health Insurance
Cigna Global

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