The 24/7 emergency number for medical assistance throughout Russia is 03. At local hospitals and clinics while the quality of the staff is usually acceptable, some of the facilities may be rather basic and you will be lucky to encounter a medical professional with sufficient English to explain what is going on. Medical professionals here tend to have a rather old-fashioned (to western sensibilities) attitude towards their patients that does not encourage questioning or tolerate discussion, and this can be distressing to those of us brought up to expect a soothing bedside manner.
It goes without saying that you should have adequate medical insurance for the duration of your trip. Trying to limit your travel expenses by not purchasing trip insurance is foolish and not to be recommended. In an emergency you will almost certainly receive treatment without it, but the way you as a patient are processed may not be what you expect, and frankly when you need medical assistance the last thing you should be worrying about is whether you are getting the right treatment, or how to pay for it. Several countries have reciprocal healthcare arrangements with Russia, but any treatment is likely to be limited and subject to local fees. There are a number of private clinics which provide English-speaking staff and top quality equipment at a price. Details can be found in the table and map below.
You should ensure that all your innoculations are up to date before you travel. These include routine vaccinations such as MMR (mumps, measles, rubella), polio and diptheria/tetanus. Others you may wish to have (depending on your itinerary and planned activities) also include polio, Hepatitis A and B, and rabies. Check with your general practioner or medical local clinic before you travel.
Chemists can be found by looking for a green (or sometimes red) electronic sign, usually a circle with a cross in the centre that flashes on and off. Some of these chemists are modern chains selling branded products familiar from back home, others still retain a rather quaint Soviet air about them which may involve queuing at a counter and asking for a specific product or remedy. If you are not confident of your Russian language abilities, stick to the modern chains. At both kinds you may be surprised by the goods you can purchase here over the counter which would require a prescription back home, and prices often compare favourably, so if that’s your thing feel free to take advantage (within reason!) and save some extra room in your suitcase.
Naberezhnaya Reki Moiki 78, St Petersburg
+ 7 812 740 2090
Galerny proezd 5, St Petersburg
+ 7 812 953 5134
Vyborgskoye shosse 5, St Petersburg
+ 7 812 337 2303
Suvorovsky prospekt 60, St Petersburg
+ 7 812 327 0301
Marata ulitsa 6, St Petersburg
+ 7 812 336 3333