While no one wants to rely on health services when you are so far from home, Europe has some of the best health care systems in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) created a measurement to examine and compare the health care systems around the world. There are 23 European countries that ranked higher than the Unites States and 17 of those are ranked in the top 20 countries globally. Health care services in most countries is more accessible and better that what you will find if you are traveling in the US.
Health care is not free for tourists so, in most cases you will have to pay out of pocket. Check with your health insurance company to see if your policy provides any coverage for international travel. In most cases you will have to be reimburse by your insurance company as European health services will not accept your insurance coverage to pay for services. If your insurance company offers no coverage another option is to buy travelers insurance for health and dental coverage. Again you will pay out of pocket and mostly likely will have to be reimbursed by your travelers insurance policy.
The following U.S. Embassy links provide recommendations for medical care while traveling within these countries. This information is complied and updated by the US Embassy within that country. Singapore ranks #1 and the South Sudan last at #167. The United States ranks at #58.
U.S. Embassy Bordeaux, Paris, Lyon, Rennes, Marseille, Strasbourg – U.S. citizen medical assistance page
Health Tourism – FAQ France
U.S. Embassy Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich – U.S. citizen medical assistance page
Health Tourism – FAQ Germany
U.S. Embassy – U.S. citizen medical assistance page
U.S. citizens can also contact the U.S. Embassies for assistance to find medical help in the case of emergencies. See our ➾ Emergencies page for a particular country’s emergency number.
Are widely available most areas, especially in cities and very near tourist areas. The stores are typically small and only sell medications and supplies for health aliments. Unlike the US, pharmacists in Europe can be very helpful in assistance with diagnosing minor aliments and injuries without going to see a doctor first. They will recommend over the counter remedies and medications not requiring a doctor’s prescription. They will recommend a clinic or hospital for anything serious. Most pharmacists speak English, especially in high tourists areas.
You will be able to find many of the same medications and remedies you purchases in the US. While some of the brand names may vary, many are comparable to US brands. Ask the pharmacist, they are usually aware of comparable products to those offered in the US.
In many countries they are called a pharmacy or apothecary but, in their own language. For example, in Denmark it is Apothek and in Italy it is Farmacia. Always look for the green cross on the outside of buildings that identify pharmacies.
Minor Treatments – For physical injuries or illness that a pharmacist cannot assist you with, go to a clinic for treatment.
Major Health Issues – For serious complications or a serious injury seek out a hospital immediately for treatment.
Ask your hotel were you can find services. If your out and need medical attention ask restaurant personnel, Police officer, tour guide, business operator or anyone else near by for assistance. Wherever you receive treatment you will find most of the health professionals speak English and will be able to treat you. There is excellent distribution of hospitals, clinics, etc. for treatment should it be required.