Ukraine’s health system is under-resourced and decidedly primitive by Western European standards, so it’s important to come prepared. Ukraine has reciprocal agreements with most countries (including the UK and most of the EU), which in theory guarantee foreign citizens free emergency care. However, heading to Ukraine without medical insurance would be foolhardy indeed.
Pharmacists in Ukraine are the first port of call for many people suffering minor complaints, and they will usually perform a diagnosis if you can explain or point to the problem. It’s always a good idea to bring extra supplies of any medication you are taking and familiarise yourself with the Latin name if it’s not on the label. In Ukraine this is often written in the Roman alphabet alongside any medicine’s local name. Most common medicines are available, but it might be handy to bring at least some of the following:
No jabs are mandatory to enter Ukraine, but the following are recommended:
State hospitals and clinics are very basic affairs with limited supplies and facilities. Patients are expected to supply everything from food to syringes, and doctors expect (unofficial) payment for every stage of treatment. Avoid admittance to this type of hospital if you can by contacting the following Kyiv clinics where Western standards of care are maintained:
Drinking tap water is not recommended anywhere in Ukraine. Bottled water is cheap and comes both still and fizzy.