07 June 2016, 10:16

When relocating to a new place for work and living, you invariably encounter the question of health care for your family. Upon our request our partners from GMS Clinic kindly wrote recommendations for expats on how to choose clinics and doctors in Russia.

Health care in Russia

Today the clinics in Russia offer their patients from different countries a fairly high level of service. This includes modern facilities and clinics, high-tech medical instruments, certified health services and medical personnel, along with comfortable conditions for a long-term treatment and hospitalization. All of these factors are vital for effective treatment and the quick recovery of each patient.

However, the main obstacles for foreign expatriates in Russia with regards to this field are the language and culture barriers. Thus, it is important that medical personnel speak at least English and have experience in dealing with heath issues of foreign nationals in Russia.  Some clinics offer their patients services of an interpreter at an appointment with a doctor. However, we would still recommend to find a doctor who speaks English fluently. In Moscow there are enough doctors who speak the language.  

In Russia you can choose which heath centre to use - a private clinic or a paid branch of a government clinic. We would like to point out that in an emergency situation, when there is a threat to a patient's life, medical aid will be provided in any clinic, regardless of the ownership. Under any other circumstances, we recommend you to choose a private clinic.  First of all, for your convenience: your appointment will be made by phone for a specific time, leaving you to plan your schedule and save your time; you will also receive more personalized attention.

⇒ In Europe, Israel and the US, the tradition of choosing one clinic for the whole family has been practised for a long time. For example, parents who take their child to a paediatrician, later return to the family doctor at the same clinic with their own problems.  The doctor is always in the loop as to who had or currently has what sickness in the family, what allows him to optimize treatment and raise the health level of each member of the family. Not many private centres in Russia work according to this principle. 

How to choose a clinic and a doctor?

Successful treatment requires more than simply choosing the right clinic.  It is even more important to choose a qualified physician. Any sensible person understands, that forming an opinion on a doctor or a clinic is possible, only through a face to face meeting with a specialist from your medical institution. 

While deciding which clinic to choose, you can count on recommendations of friends, who had a successful treatment experience.  Ask your friends and acquaintances.  It's a small world, so there is a good chance that somebody can recommend you an outstanding clinic in Russia. If you don't know anyone who applied for a treatment in a certain clinic, look to forums and blogs for answers.  This will always reveal the most honest feedback and recommendations.  Of course, you might encounter so-called "paid" articles, but in general, you will see a clearer picture of  the medical institution.

However, make sure not to rush it here either. Be certain that throughout the treatment, the clinic can provide you with copies of your results or at least extracts from the patient card in English after the course of treatment. Also, a mandatory element of any self-respecting clinic is a legal service agreement when the process begins.

When choosing a treatment facility, pay attention to the following features:

Some share the opinion, that doctors in Europe and the US are more highly qualified than Russian and CIS countries’ doctors, however, today a large number of Russian doctors are well-educated in their fields, apply standards of evidence-based medicine and regularly take trainings abroad.  Their work is no different than that of the physicians from the US or Spain.  Always inquire as to whether the clinic doctor has experience working abroad and whether he implements the concepts of evidence-based medicine in his clinic. 

You can check your doctor's professional qualification documents and clarify the following points:

In conclusion, we would like to wish you the best of health and, as they say: «Thatch your roof before the rain begins to fall!».

We are always ready to assist you in solving any health problems, as well as dealing with medical documents in our family medicine clinic, the GMS Moscow

About the author

GMS Clinic is included in the international group of companies, the Global Medical System Clinics and Hospitals. It is recommended as an official medical partner of a majority of the foreign embassies in Moscow.

The international team of medical experts works on international protocols of evidence-based medicine.  Highly qualified medical personnel, as well as nursing staff and hospital administration, invariably fluent in at least English, and in most cases, in several languages. A set condition for doctors in the GMS clinics, is that they have working experience abroad, but more specifically, in Europe, Israel, or the US, a doctor could get and increase his scientific and clinical experience in the international health system.  Every GMS Clinic doctor continues to receive constant professional education, attends international conferences and travels to work in leading overseas clinics.  The GMS is the preferred provider of large-scale international insurance agencies and assistance companies, such as Cigna, BUPA, AXA PPP and International SOS. The clinic's motto is:  "Western Approach. Moscow Based.”

Find out contacts, addresses and more details about GMS Clinic in their profile HERE.

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