Russia Health Care and Vaccinations
The highly developed health service provides free medical treatment for all citizens. If a traveller becomes ill during a booked tour, emergency treatment is free, with small sums to be paid for medicines and hospital treatment. If a longer stay than originally planned becomes necessary because of the illness, the visitor will have to pay for all further treatment. This can be very expensive; especially if treatment requires evacuation by air, as could be the case with any mountaineering or ski-related injuries. All visitors are strongly advised to have full medical cover that includes medical evacuation.
It is advisable to take a supply of medicines that are likely to be required (check first that they may be imported legally). If possible, take a doctor’s note which indicates what ailments the various medicines are for. Private medical care can be expensive.
A negative HIV-test is required from travellers who stay longer than three months.
Food and Drink
In general, Russia does not pose any serious health risks when it comes to food. Use common sense and caution when deciding what might be safe to eat. Tap water is drinkable, although those with sensitive stomachs may want to stick to bottled water. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Be wary of eating smoked fish from street vendors around Lake Baikal. Some travellers have reported cases of food poisoning.
Vaccinations are sometimes recommended for Japanese B encephalitis, meningococcal meningitis and tick-borne encephalitis.