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National Health Services for Expats in India

Submitted: August 2013

Healthcare is not free in India, unless you attend a public hospital (nominal charges may apply).

National health policy

Public hospitals are also referred to as "Government hospitals", and they are designed to provide free or subsidised treatment.

Most healthcare providers are wholly private, and their practice is regulated. As public hospitals are largely overstretched because of a lack of funding (see Doctors and Hospitals for Expats in India), a lot of people would rather rely on private hospitals.

It is India's policy to encourage its citizens to take out an insurance cover. Health insurance is not compulsory for all employees in India, but private medical insurance is a fairly common perquisite in Indian salary packages.

Health insurance is encouraged only to the extent that the Government agrees that it covers clinically necessary costs. Therefore, only qualifying policies are tax-deductible. See Health Insurance for Expats in India.

Yellow fever vaccination certificate

Any individual entering India must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate if they have been in a high risk area (including transit) over the past six days. This period may be extended to 30 days if they come by ship.

High risk areas normally include equatorial regions of America and Africa, as well as the Sahel. However, a country may be deemed "high risk" if one case of yellow fever is reported there.

If you don't have a yellow fever vaccination certificate while you are required to have one, you may be detained by the Indian authorities for up to six days.

Travel advice

Many countries provide updated travel information to their citizens, and this often includes health advice. You should regularly check the Foreign Office website of your home country to see if there are any specific steps you need to make. Alternatively, you can go to your local embassy in India.

Do also check if you need additional vaccinations prior to entering India. Vaccinations are normally not a legal requirement in India (except for yellow fever – see above), but they are strongly advisable. Some of them may actually be subsidised in your home country, but be aware that your country is unlikely to be willing to run an international health service. Thus, some vaccines may not be subsidised because they are simply irrelevant in your home country (e.g. Hepatitis A).

In India, you should be vaccinated against:

You might to consider also the following vaccines:

Be aware that all or some of the above vaccines may be mandatory in your home country. So you should check your vaccination/immunisation records before embarking on further vaccines.



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