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Before You Go

Recommended Vaccinations

There are no recommended vaccinations for NYC.

Health Insurance

Be sure you have adequate insurance coverage before coming to NYC. At a minimum, you need coverage for medical emergencies and treatment, including hospital stays and an emergency flight home if necessary. Medical treatment in the USA is of the highest caliber, but the expense could bankrupt you.

In New York

Tap Water

The water flowing through the tap is of very high quality in NYC and is safe to drink.

Medical Services

Before traveling, contact your health-insurance provider to find out what types of medical care will be covered outside your hometown (or home country). Overseas visitors should acquire travel insurance that covers medical situations in the US, as nonemergency care for uninsured patients can be very expensive. For nonemergency appointments at hospitals, you’ll need proof of insurance or cash. Even with insurance, you’ll most likely have to pay up front for nonemergency care and then wrangle with your insurance company afterward in order to get your money reimbursed.

Travel MD (212-737-1212; offers 24-hour medical advice for visitors to NYC, and has a doctor that will do home visits to patients' hotels.

Emergency Rooms & Hospitals

Emergency services can be stress-inducing and slow (unless your medical condition is absolutely dire); a visit should be avoided if other medical services can be accessed to mitigate the situation.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital Reputable hospital.

Bellevue Hospital Center Major public hospital with emergency room and trauma center.

New York County Medical Society Provides doctor referrals over the phone, based on type of problem and language spoken.

Tisch Hospital Large, state-of-the-art facility with highly regarded departments in every critical care specialty.

Callen-Lorde Community Health Center This medical center, dedicated to the LGBT community and people living with HIV/AIDS, serves people regardless of their ability to pay.

Lenox Hill Hospital A good hospital with a 24-hour emergency room and multilingual translators in the Upper East Side.

Mount Sinai Hospital An excellent hospital in the Upper East Side.

Planned Parenthood Provides birth control, STD screenings and gynecological care.


New York is bursting with 24-hour ‘pharmacies,’ which are handy all-purpose stores where you can buy over-the-counter medications anytime; the pharmaceutical prescription counters have more limited hours. Major pharmacy chains include CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid and Walgreens.