Health Services for Military Families in Moscow
Standard of Care
The standard of care for both medical and dental services is similar to, if not better than, Canada when using the EMC (European Medical Centre). The EMC is a private hospital, with excellent full range of care services readily available. Wait times are little to nonexistent. Care is very expensive and will need to be paid up front (although you can claim most services through your insurance or through DND) for both families and DND personnel. Regular testing for ongoing care can be easily accomplished at the EMC and results can be sent via email to be translated and sent back to Canada for review with no problems or delays.
Elective surgeries should be done in Canada and emergency surgeries that can be delayed will be undertaken outside of Russia (in the UK or Germany).
Payment for Care
When paying for medical and dental services, you will be asked to pay immediately (usually by credit card) and then you can continue with your care. This is true for ambulances as well. Some families have reported feeling like “walking debit machines” as test after test is performed whether they are necessary or not. Please contact your insurer to ensure coverage. The claims process is done with Sunlife the same way as in Canada.
Please read the Thriving In Guide for more details on emergency ambulance services in Moscow.
Pharmacies are easy to find and on most streets throughout Moscow. If your doctor has prescribed something, it's usually in Russian and the pharmacists can easily fill it. There are two types of pharmacies but most families recommend going to the "36-6" pharmacies.
Please note that there are some medications not available in Moscow which can often be ordered through a pre-determined pharmacy in Canada. They can keep your information on file and send your medication via diplomatic mail. You will keep the receipts and claim the amounts as per normal with SunLife. If you are experiencing trouble with finding medication, it’s best to call your detachment to see if you can get your medication through a DND Pharmacist.
Dental care is very similar to Canada. English speaking dentists are available and can be booked with no waiting times. There are some companies that fly in specialists from the UK and even from Canada on a monthly basis. Cost is similar to Canada and there have been no major problems processing claims (but, like in Canada, you should discuss your treatment plans with Sunlife prior to committing to the treatment if you are unsure of your dental coverage).
Specialist care is easy to find in Moscow and all hospitals have specialists with most speaking English (or one can be found). You will pay extra to see a specialist outside of regular hours (evenings and weekends). Again, care is excellent and no wait times are reported.
Please visit this link for more information about the European Medical Centre in Moscow (including a price list for services in both roubles and euros).