Population: 37.2 million
Official languages: Arabic & Kurdish
Time zone: Arabia Standard Time (AST)
Emergency #: 130
Vaccinations required: Yes
Risk of malaria: No
Some popular travel destinations in Iraq include Amna Suraka, Citadel, Grand Bazaar, Qaysari Bazaar and the Kurdish Textile Museum.
The standards for patient care and medical services in Iraq will differ from your home country. The country is still recovering from decades of conflict so basic modern medical care is not widely available. Iraq has both public and private health sectors. The private sector is reported to have shorter wait times and provide a higher quality of care than public facilities. The country has a shortage general practitioners providing primary care as well as a severe shortage of nurses. Many nurses do not have any formal training. Medical supplies are often unavailable and many facilities suffer power outages without sufficient backup.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in Iraq typically require upfront payment in cash, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Due to limited healthcare services, medical evacuation to Western Europe 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 and evacuation company about the extent of their coverage in Iraq.
Essential medications may be unavailable or in short supply. There is a severe shortage of pharmacists. There are minimal regulations within the pharmaceutical industry, so medication sold may not have undergone standard quality testing. Avoid buying medications from markets or unlicensed pharmacies, as fake medication may be a concern.
If you are travelling with medication, check with Iraq's embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Travelling by road in Iraq is extremely dangerous, especially at night. Road rules are rarely followed or enforced. Public transport runs irregularly and vehicles are not maintained to safety standards. The national seat belt law applies only to drivers but all passengers should wear their seat belt for safety.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Iraq. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary: