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Healthcare and Medical Treatment

Russia - Healthcare and Medical Treatment

The main reported health risks in Russia are from Poliomyelitis, Dysentery, Hepatitis A, Diphtheria, Tick-borne Typhus, Encephalitis and Lyme disease (in forested areas), Tuberculosis, Leishmaniasis, Meningitis, and Rabies.

It is unusual for expatriates to contract any of these diseases, and most encounter no significant health problems as a result of living in Russia, but it is important to have the recommended immunizations and to take appropriate health precautions. Expatriates are often afflicted with depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder in winter.

The tap water is not safe for drinking and should be boiled to avoid gastrointestinal infections. Bottled water is widely available.

Dairy products are safe, but meat and fish should be well cooked, fruit should be peeled and vegetables cooked.

Russians citizens receive free health care in public clinics and hospitals, and under a reciprocal health agreement between Russia and the UK, British citizens are also eligible for free treatment in Russian hospitals The standard of care in these facilities is reportedly lower than that in western countries, and is very basic in some parts of the country.

All foreign citizens who are living and working in Russia are required to have private medical insurance - this is a prerequisite of being issued a visa. Private western-style health care is quite expensive and it is usually necessary to pay for treatment up front. Typically, a single consultation costs around US$120. There are good private clinics in Moscow and St Petersburg, with western-trained doctors. There is also an American dental clinic in Moscow. Expatriates requiring specialist medical treatment often fly to Helsinki or return to their home countries.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.