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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 29 Sep 2006
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Russia - what happens if you need a hospital

Hi all - first time posting but have already gleened so much information from the HUBB - we're all off to Russia from London via most of eastern europe next year... I've worked out most things from reading older posts but I just have a couple of questions - any help would be fantastic!

1 - What happens if we need a hospital / doctor / dentist... do we go to the local place and pay? No idea where to start on this one!

2 - What are the roads REALLY like - particulary from Estonia down to St Petersburg and from there down to Moscow and then south down and out through Ukraine.

Any help / advise would be great - thanks!

Matthew
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  #2  
Old 29 Sep 2006
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1- Yes, in case you need any kind of medical treatment you go to local places and pay. In 2002 almost no one among common people knew english. I am quite sure, so i advice you to learn russian.

2- Roads are quite ok. No problem what so ever.


Have a nice trip
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  #3  
Old 29 Sep 2006
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Medical and Roads

Dear mattcbf600

You really need to check with your travel/health insurance exactly what documentation you need in case something happens which requires treatment. Credit cards or debit cards won't do but better to withdraw cash from atm's in cities and settle invoices in cash. I suggest a visit to www.waytorussia.net for a quick read about what Russia is all about. There is VERY good general advice on the site on all manner of topics, as well as a very good forum "talklounge".

Russian roads can be very good, but also very bad. Main highways between cities in western russia likely to be good with bad stretches. Good means approaching UK standards, bad means watch out for potholes, lorry 'ruts' and so on. Mainly watch out for Russian driving styles and standards. Some roads are 2 lane with a middle suicide lane on which priority changes every few kms. Pay more attention to oncoming traffic than any road markings. The markings may indicate you have right of way, but the ZIL truck bearing down on you will indicate the reverse!

Have fun

Les
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  #4  
Old 29 Sep 2006
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Hi Matt if your travelling in Russia as with most places people will try to help you out and the Russians are really a friendly lot. however if you need a hospital best bet is to head into Moscow or St Petersburg where I believe you will find very decent quality hospitals and private clinics also American run private hospital which your insurance will cover you for. I have searched for the details of these hospitals but can not find where I got them from or where I have put the details of them from my last trip. However If you have something serious and can get back over the border to Finland then that is your best bet. Aids is rife in Russia as in many parts of the world so maybe if your feeling extra careful carry your own syringe and needles. However I think you will find both Moscow and NW russia very westernised and has a very good standard of services available. As for the roads they can be anything from very good to very very bad the same can be said about the driving. If your travelling off the main motorway route which I would recommend you do you may find some roads have had little or no mainteneance, however there are sections of the motorway which are also pretty poor. Some roads can be waiting for repair! and may be only gravel.Have a great trip make sure you get all your paperwork right at the border and all should be fine
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  #5  
Old 1 Oct 2006
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fantastic

thanks all - this is brilliant info :-)

m
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  #6  
Old 1 Oct 2006
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hospitals and roads

Hi

We only recently rode from London to Tokyo through Kaz and Mongolia and I saw a number of hospitals that I wouldn't want to check myself into. If you get a problem find the best hotel you can in each large city and ask for assistance. The good hotels will have a translator that will asist you for a small fee.

As for the roads, you wont need nobblies and watch out for manhole's without covers. You will see dozens of manholes without covers

Here's our blog if you're interested www.kenandtoni.com

Ken
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Old 1 Oct 2006
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stunning

Fantastic -thanks Ken :-)

m
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  #8  
Old 1 Oct 2006
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Don't be afraid of Russia!

Hello! At first it's a good trip, you'r planing, but you will not see RUSSIA, it's a kind of Europe in this area, but not bad for the first experiance.
1. Good hospitals are in St.Petersburg and Moscow, you won't have problems there, all others are pure and often don't have brand new equipment (but they're good enough to help you with tooth problems or some not very serious operations, so you can find help in Novgorod, Pskov, Tver, Bryansk - cities you root wull lay through).
2. Roads: Estonia-St.Petersburg - good,
St.Petersburg - Moscow - OK, but 2 bad parts: Novgorod area(70 km) and Tver area (40 km), I've heard they fixed it, but I didn't see it myself yet, lust year I've made this 700km on TDM850 in 6 hours, so it's nothing to be afraid.
Moscow - Bryansk - Ukranian border - so-so, wach out for road works. I would recomend you to go through Belorussia, it's 200 km longel, but roads are exhelent, but you need extra visa as I know.
If you will go through south Russia, through Rostov and Krasnodar, M4 road became better this year, but in 1-st 900 km you'll find 200 km of not very pleasent riding. Then in Rostov's region roads are good and they're as better as you're getting to the south. If you'll choose this root with ferry from Port Kavkas to Ukarain, please ride to Sochi through Novorosiysk and Gelendzhik, you'll love it.
Be free to ask me any questions, I'll behappy to assist you.
On your way in every city there are bikers and motorcycle clubs, they'll help you if something will go wrong.
Good luck!
Dmitry
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Old 2 Oct 2006
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russian hospitals

Having performed volunteer work in Russian hospitals back in the 90's I found the facilities very unsanitary. Nosicomial infections are more the rule then the exception. Having a medical kit with syringes and antibiotics could be a life saver. I found the staff 's to be knowlegable and friendly but very limited to what they could do because of the lack of funding.
I married a nurse 10 years ago from one of these facilities and we keep in regular contact with our friends still working there. Unfortunately the situation in the hospitals has continued to deterioate !

My advice would be to have info on hand of the nearest consulate for your country and investigate how much emergency airlift insurance would cost.

Don't let my advice discourage you. The Russian people are wonderful !!

Paaka, Dan
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Old 3 Oct 2006
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Refering to info given by RURIDER ....

please ride to Sochi through Novorosiysk and Gelendzhik, you'll love it.

I definetly agree.... Best route i have seen during my trip Sochi - Petersburg.
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  #11  
Old 5 Oct 2006
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Hospital Payment

First-hand experience from 2003
Fell and sprained ankle somewhere in the Far East. Went to hospital to see if it was broken, and they took me from the hospital with a bunch of other people to what I assume is a military facility (there was a gate, but no people around) for x-rays. Nobody ever asked for money.

Was hit by a car a month later near the city of Orenburg. Hospital had an old x-ray machine. It was enough to see that my collar bone was very broken. They put a plaster cast on my upper body (with nothing underneath. This was very painful as it stuck to my chest hair). The doctor said just to wait until the bone healed, but I would never have full use of my arm again. At least, I think that is what she said, my Russian is not very good. But they didn't charge me a singe Ruble.

I took an airplane to Moscow and checked myself into the European Medical Center for surgery to fix the bone. Very nice and modern place. They speak English and other European languages http://www.emcmos.ru/about-e.cfm . My insurance paid for it, so I don't know how much it would cost without. But I assume alot of money!

So, I assume that medical care in the countryside at government hospitals is free. But care is very poor. A private hospital in a big city has good care, but very expensive.
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  #12  
Old 5 Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris in Tokyo
So, I assume that medical care in the countryside at government hospitals is free. But care is very poor. A private hospital in a big city has good care, but very expensive.
...so, all hospitals are good enough to patch you up and get you ready to travel somewhere where you can get things fixed properly? Seems to me that's all what's needed, anywhere in the world.

And IMHO you should always get travel insurance that covers medivac and 'European' standard treatment...I wouldn't travel without it!

Jens
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Old 22 Oct 2006
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Unfortunately I had experiences this summer, I fall down on one unpaved road near Krasnoyarsk (on my way to Vladivostok) and broken my arm in shoulder. I pay about 60 euros for radiograph and plaster.
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  #14  
Old 1 Nov 2006
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Bit of a Horror Story

In the local expat press: Caveat Emptor

http://www.exile.ru/2006-October-20/road_kill.html

Sounds a bit similar to Chris in Tokyo's experience
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