Pakistan is known for its mountain landscapes and has a number of cultural and historical heritage sites including the monuments at Makli, the Buddhist ruins of Takht-I-Bahi, and the Shalamar Gardens in Lahore. At the border of Pakistan and China, adventurous travellers will find K2 – the second highest mountain in the world after Mount Everest.
The standards for patient care and medical services in Pakistan will differ from your home country. Pakistan has a public healthcare system which typically does not meet international standards. The system has improved in recent years, but medical care outside of major cities is often inadequate.
In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in Pakistan typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Due to limited healthcare, evacuation is common for complex medical 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 Pakistan.
Pharmacies in Pakistan are generally privately owned and unregulated. In most cases, the patient must pay upfront and out-of-pocket for medicines and most do not require a prescription. Pharmacy staff may not be trained to an international standard. Travellers should be cautious of fake medicines and only buy medicines from reputable pharmacies.
If you are travelling with medication, check with Pakistan’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 Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.
Roads in Pakistan are generally not well maintained and are typically unlit at night. Roads are often overcrowded and traffic rules are not consistently followed or enforced. Seat belts are required for the driver of the vehicle only, but all passengers should wear their seat belt for safety. Helmets must be worn by drivers and passengers of motorcycles at all times. In Pakistan, traffic drives on the left side of the road.
Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for Pakistan. 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 Pakistan.
Population: 197 million
Official languages: Urdu, English
Time zone: Pakistan Standard Time (PKT)
Emergency #: 1122
Vaccinations required: Yes
Risk of malaria: Yes