Romania is a relatively safe country and visitors are not subject to any major health dangers that one wouldn’t find in any other European country.
Before You Go
Prevention is the key to staying healthy while abroad. A little planning before departure, particularly for pre-existing illnesses, will save trouble later.
- Bring extra medications in their original, clearly labelled, containers.
- A signed and dated letter from your doctor describing your medical conditions and medications, including generic names, is a good idea.
- If carrying syringes or needles, be sure to have a doctor’s letter documenting their medical necessity.
- Carry a spare pair of contact lenses and glasses, and take your optical prescription with you.
There are no vaccinations required to enter Romania.
- EU citizens are entitled to free emergency medical care provided that they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), available from health centres or via www.dh.gov.uk in the UK.
- Citizens from other countries will likely have to pay cash upfront for any medical treatment and then seek reimbursement later from their private or public health insurers.
- Be sure to save any and all paperwork provided by the hospital to present to your insurance company along with any reimbursement claim.
Any water found in the mountains should be treated with suspicion – never drink it without purifying (with filters, iodine or chlorine) or boiling it first, unless assured that it’s safe to drink by a guide or local authority.
Rabies cases are thankfully rare but still a concern given the number of stray dogs on the streets. If bitten by a homeless dog, seek medical attention within 72 hours (most main hospitals will have a rabies clinic).
Ticks are common in Romania’s grasslands and open areas. Tick-borne encephalitis is a rare but debilitating virus that attacks parts of the brain. If you’re planning on spending time hiking and camping in the open air, consider a vaccination.
Tap water is generally considered safe to drink in Romania, though nearly everyone drinks bottled water: it's cheap and available everywhere.
Availability & Cost of Health Care
Every Romanian city or large town will have a hospital or polyclinic that handles emergencies. In rural areas, the nearest hospital may be quite some distance away, though local people will be able to advise the best course of action.
- Romanian hospitals and medical centres may not look promising from the outside, but rest assured if something does go wrong, you will receive relatively prompt, professional care.
- If you need to go to the hospital, be sure to bring your passport, credit card and cash, as you may be required to prepay for services. EU citizens should bring their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You’ll likely have to pay out of pocket for any medications, bandages or crutches, as the case may be.
- Romanian health care, particularly in public hospitals, is generally affordable by Western European (and certainly American) standards. Rates can be much higher in private clinics, though the quality of the care may be better as well.