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San Francisco

Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

Keep your city smarts and wits about you, especially at night in the Tenderloin, SoMa and the Mission. The Bayview–Hunters Point neighborhood south of Potrero Hill along the water is plagued by a high crime rate and frequent violence, and not particularly suitable for wandering tourists. After dark, Dolores Park, Buena Vista Park, and the entry to Golden Gate Park at Haight and Stanyan host drug deals and casual sex hookups.

Expect to be asked for spare change often in San Francisco, but don’t feel obliged – donations stretch farther at non-profit Haight Ashbury Food Program.

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While you're there

Medical services

Always contact your health insurance provider before traveling to find out what types of medical care they will cover outside your home town (or home country). Overseas visitors should acquire travel insurance that covers medical situations in the US, where non-emergency care for uninsured patients can be very costly. For non-emergency appointments at hospitals, you’ll need proof of insurance or cash. Even with insurance, most likely you will have to pay for non-emergency care out of your own pocket up front, and then wrangle with your insurance afterwards to get any of your money reimbursed. That said, San Francisco has reputable medical facilities as well as alternative medical practices and herbal apothecaries.

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American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine

415-282-9603; 450 Conneticut St; h8:30am-9pm Mon-Thu, 9am-5:30pm Fri & Sat; 22

Acupuncture, herbal remedies and other traditional Chinese medical treatments.


415-487-5632; 558 Clayton St; 1-9pm Mon, 9am-9pm Tue-Thu, 1-5pm Fri 6, 7, 24, 66, 71, N

Services offered by appointment only, but once you’re in a doctor will see you for free and will offer advice if further medical attention is needed.


415-565-7667; www.lyon-martin.org; 1748 Market St, Ste 201; 11am-7pm Mon & Wed, 9am-5pm Tue & Fri, 1-5pm Thu; 6, 7, 66, 71, F

Relatively affordable health services available at this women’s clinic; lesbian-friendly.

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Emergency care


415-206-8000, emergency room 415-206-8111; 1001 Potrero Ave; h24hr; 9

Provides care to uninsured patients; no documentation required beyond ID.

Davies Medical Center

415-565-6000; 24hr; 6, 7, 24, 71, J, N

Has 24-hour emergency services.

University of California-San Francisco Medical Center

415-476-1000; 505 Parnassus Ave; 24hr; 6, 7, 24, 71, J, N

At the vanguard of medical advances.

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415-861-6276; 498 Castro at 18th St; 24hr

Pharmacy and over-the-counter meds; dozens of locations citywide.


415-661-1216; www.pharmaca.com; 925 Cole St;8am-8pm Mon-Fri, 9am-8pmSat & Sun

Pharmacyplus naturopathic remedies and weekend chair massage.

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