Capital: New Delhi
Population: 1.324 billion
Official languages: Hindi & English
Time zone: Indian Standard Time (IST)
Emergency #: 112
Vaccinations required: Yes
Risk of malaria: Yes
Popular travel destinations in India include Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Mehrangarh, and Girnar Hill.
The standards for patient care and medical services in India may differ from your home country. India has both public and private health sectors, but the private sector is larger and provides most of the country’s inpatient and outpatient care. The majority of the country’s doctors work in the private sector. However, there is limited regulation so the quality of privately-funded care can vary and some practitioners may not be adequately qualified. Healthcare in India does not always meet international standards, especially in rural areas. Publicly-run facilities provide the majority of care in rural areas, but are often reported to be understaffed and lacking essential supplies.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in India typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Medical evacuation to Singapore or Thailand is common for serious health emergencies. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance, including evacuation. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in India.
Essential medications may be temporarily unavailable or in short supply and special medications may be difficult to find. Many medications can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription, but you should always consult a physician before taking a new medication. Avoid buying medications from markets or unlicensed pharmacies, as fake medication is a common concern.
If you are travelling with medication, check with India's embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review India's regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Traffic in India is often chaotic, especially in urban areas. Roads and vehicles may not be maintained to safety standards and road rules may not be consistently followed or enforced. A national seat belt law applies to all occupants of a vehicle and motorcycle drivers and passengers are required to wear a helmet. Driving occurs on the left-hand side of the road.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for India. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:
IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in India.