How to get medical care in Moscow

In which cases you can call an ambulance or emergency care. How to call an ambulance. How a foreigner should apply to a Moscow polyclinic. How a foreigner should apply for a Russian compulsory health insurance policy

1. In which cases should I call an ambulance or emergency care?

You should call an ambulance or an emergency service if:

  • life is threatened or medical evacuation is needed: severe injuries, wounds, bleeding, childbirth, heart attack, stroke, severe infectious diseases;
  • there is no danger to life, but health is threatened, for example, migraine headache, high temperature, changes in blood pressure; chest pain associated with movement, breathing, coughing; abdominal pain associated with established diagnoses of "chronic gastritis", "gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer" (without symptoms of ulcer perforation or bleeding);
  • in other situations, after a remote consultation with a senior doctor of the medical advisory station of the operational department by phone number: 8 (495) 620-42-33 (there are always English-speaking employees at the station).


In the first case, an ambulance team will come on your call (arrival time — up to 20 minutes), in the second case an emergency doctor will come (arrival time — up to two hours). 


Ambulance and emergency medical care in Moscow is provided free of charge.

2. How do I call an ambulance or emergency service?

You can call an ambulance or an emergency medical service by dialing 112 (if you need to call several emergency services at the same time). This is a single phone number for all telecom operators. The call is free and possible, even if the number is blocked for non-payment and the SIM card is not inserted in the phone.


If you dial 911, your call will be forwarded to 112 service.


Having dialed, keep calm, even if you got in a queue. Please wait for the operator to respond.


After connecting to the 112 service, you will be switched to an English-speaking operator. Two main questions that the operator will ask you:

  • what happened;
  • where it happened (indicate the address).


The operator can ask other clarifying questions. Give clear answers. Do not hang up when the operator says: "Wait, stay on the line."


In a life-threatening situation, the operator will dispatch emergency personnel to the location and continue to ask questions. If possible, wait for the emergency services to arrive.


You can also call an ambulance by dialing:

  • using local phone — 03 and 103;
  • using mobile phone (for all operators) — 103.


When calling 103, be prepared that not all operators speak English. But the operations department always has employees who know English and can assist in receiving your call.


As a rule, it takes a few seconds to connect to a 103-line operator, however, if you dial 103 simultaneously with many other callers, you may hear an answering machine message: “Hello. You have called the Unified City Dispatch Center for Emergency and Emergency Medical Care in Moscow. Please do not hang up, we will answer you for sure."


Wait for the answer and do not hang up, otherwise dialing the number again, you will find yourself at the end of the caller’s queue.

3. What should I tell the operator when calling an ambulance?

When calling an ambulance, stay calm and briefly say what has happened, also say:

  • the phone number you are calling from;
  • address of the patient’s location (if help is needed outside, specify clear landmarks; if help is needed at home, specify the easiest way to arrive at the house, number of the entrance and entrance door code number, number of floor and apartment);
  • last name, first name and middle name (if known);
  • date of birth (if known) or age of the patient;
  • your last name.


Do not hang up until the emergency operator finds out all the details.

4. How to contact the polyclinic?

To get medical care in a polyclinic, contact the reception of any polyclinic. At the clinic, fill in (in person or through a representative) an application form for outpatient services. You will need the following documents:

  • passport of a foreign citizen or other document certifying the identity of a foreign citizen;
  • residence permit for permanent residents of Russia or a record of permission in the passport of a foreign citizen for temporary residence in the Russian Federation, or in another identity document, for temporary residents in Russia;
  • compulsory health insurance (CHI) policy;
  • pension insurance certificate (if available);
  • representative of a citizen (including a legal one) should submit an identity document and a document confirming his authority (power of attorney).


The medical institution takes four working days to check the information you provided. Thereafter, within two working days, you will be notified of the attachment to outpatient services and be able to make an appointment with a specialist.

5. How to apply for a compulsory health insurance policy?

To apply for a CHI policy, you will need: 

  • application form (to be filled in the office);
  • passport of a foreign citizen or other document recognized in the Russian Federation as an identity document of the foreign citizen in accordance with an international treaty;
  • residence permit for permanent residents of Russia or a record of permission in the passport of a foreign citizen for temporary residence in the Russian Federation, or in another identity document, for temporary residents in Russia;
  • pension insurance certificate (if available).


You can apply for an CHI policy:

  • in any My Documents center of public services (primary CHI policy for a residence permit with a record of registration at the place of residence in Moscow);
  • in one of the medical insurance companies, working in Moscow CHI network.


The CHI policy will be ready within 45 working days after registration of the application and the documents submitted. For this 45-day period you will receive a temporary policy to be used if needed.

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