Population: 17.8 million
Official languages: Kazakh & Russian
Time zone: Alma-Alta Time (ALMT), Aqtobe Time (AQTT)
Emergency #: 103
Vaccinations required: No
Risk of malaria: No
This mountainous country includes popular travel destinations such as Yasaui Mausoleum, Charyn Canyon, Khan Shatyr, and Kolsai Lakes.
The standards for patient care and medical services in Kazakhstan may differ from your home country. Kazakhstan has both public and private health sectors. Healthcare, however, is limited and generally does not meet international standards. The country has a shortage of healthcare providers, particularly doctors and nurses, and most do not speak English. The public sector is underfunded so most choose to use privately-funded medical services, although the quality of care can also vary in the private sector. Healthcare is limited in rural areas due to a severe shortage of healthcare providers, transportation services, and long travel times to facilities. Emergency phone operators rarely speak English and wait times for ambulances can be substantial.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in Kazakhstan 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 about the extent of their coverage in Kazakhstan.
Pharmacies are widely available in major cities but medications may be in short supply or unavailable. Avoid buying medications from markets or unlicensed pharmacies, as fake medication is a concern.
If you are travelling with medication, check with Kazakhstan's embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a narcotic or psychotropic, you can review Kazakhstan's regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Roads in Kazakhstan are in poor condition, especially in rural areas. Road rules are rarely followed and traffic is often chaotic. Public transportations such as buses can be overcrowded and vehicles may not be maintained to safety standards. The national seat belt law applies to all passengers.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Kazakhstan. 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 Kazakhstan.