Accessible healthcare

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You have no Insurance, or are abroad and not covered, or you don't have your card with you, so what do you do? From trickery (switching cards with someone else) to knowing the free / cheap medical centres, you may need to find medical assistance urgently, get a check up and stay healthy?

EEA and EU countries

If you are a citizen of an EEA or EU country you should get an ESIC card.


Health Cooperatives



Local / Stories

  • Slovenia:
    • ER is free (you will be asked: "did the injury occur in the last 24 hours?")
  • Germany:
    • Called "Charite - Universitätsmedizin Berlin", the big University hospital from Berlin. They didn't want to give any advice on the phone "without seeing it". Without insurance, they said it's 300€ to get checked at ER. They said there is no way to get advice without getting there & paying.
  • Finland:
    • dental care is affordable even without a card (~20€ appointment, ~40€ urgency, 40€ for filling) at public dentists (most)
    • pharmacists will be able to advise you
  • Netherlands:
    • (Aalkmar hospital) I was rushed to a hospital with an injury threatening my finger. I didn't have my documents with me (including EHIC card). The doctor sat down with me and explained I need to pay 200€ upfront for him to take a look at it. I found that morbid and went away.
  • Spain:
    • have to fill in papers to use the EU card
    • I was surprised to discover all dental care is private. A filling costs 50-70€, and a presupuesto for a root canal treatment was 430€. So I needed to head back to my home country to get free healthcare.
  • UK:
  • Sweden:
    • "[...]has free healthcare for illegal immigrants, should be possible to get if you are traveling"
  • Ukraine:
    • According to locals it might be tricky if you are a foreigner with no insurance, since doctors and assistants will try to rip you off, not caring at all of your problems and just wanting your money; THOUGH everything will depend on circumstances!!

Get somebody speaking a very good and fluent Russian and go to the hospital (better in small towns) explaining the whole situation, who are you how did you get there, how did you get injured etc. They shouldn't charge you at all.

    • Fede again:), during a rainbow gathering near Kaniv, June 2014, got his foot pierced, infected and injured seriously. After several opinion and discussion he went to the local hospital where, for the amount of about 1-2€, he received a surgical operation (with no anesthaesia and very very big pain), painkillers and antibiotics that he refused to take. In spite of usual prejudices, people where competent, friendly and helpful, the same some days after when he kept going back for medications.
  • Moldova:
    • very similar to Ukraine, same former Soviet/Russian system. If apparently they think you have money they may try to take as much as they can though if you go with somebody speaking the local language and explaining kindly the situation, in best of cases you will be treated as king. In certain hospitals, going alone, you may find people speaking Italian or French come back after years of work abroad. Checked Balti and Congaz
  • India:
    • Fede after having been bitten by a probably rabish dog in the centre of Delhi (Paharganj, March 2010 don't have more recent updates but should be the same), has been visited, medicated and calmed down completely for free by a local doctor who sent him straightly to the hospital where he received antitetan and antirabies vaccines again completely free of charge. The day after, back to the same hospital they suggested him to go on with the treatment in his home country having the fligh the day after. Every consultation and cure was free and every doctor or staff member was extremely nice, helpful, competent and professional.
  • Turkey:
    • A pain in the a**!! Everything is private, it looks and sounds like United States, hospital and medical treatments are just a business, which as usual can be extremely profitable; every turkish person does have a health insurance, provided by his employer, whether public or private, which covers (probably not all..) his/her expenses. Unless you have your own insurance, you may prefer to go out into the neighbouring countries like Georgia, Armenia and Iran eastwards or Bulgaria and Greece (EU) westwards.
    • I didn't have any personal direct experience, thankfully; though every person living in the country, Turkish or foreigner, told me about stories and strongly advised me against staying in the country with no health insurance, even ER should be paying..and expensive..


  • Emergency treatment is free everywhere in Europe (?)
    • probably not
    • what is covered under ER?
  • Some countries have more accessible healthcare than others
  • We should get better at treating ourselves


  • Take care of your problems in your home countries when you're there
  • Have a Basic medical kit with you

Dental care

Dentistry is a big problem:

  • Who would do it pro bono?
  • Where in Europe is it cheapest? Definitely Bulgaria and Romania, there are dozens of western europeans going there on purpose just to save on dentistry expenses.
  • In Brazil one can find senior dentistry students at universities and rely on them for a fraction of the price of a clinic. This strategy (=medical students) may be feasible across the planet when no other forms of health care are available.
  • EHIC card seems to not cover dentistry. In Spain, all dental care is private.
  • Is DIY dentistry possible?


See Basic medical kit. Nomadbases should include a small pharmacy & tried natural remedies.

Feasible DIY medicine:

  • first aid
  • stitching, removing stitches