The government, with the assistance of The World Bank, has worked to improve Azerbaijan’s healthcare system in recent years. Projects have seen the construction of new medical facilities, the introduction of new equipment and the training of medical staff.
However, healthcare in Azerbaijan remains largely underdeveloped compared to most European countries, and Azerbaijan suffers from a shortage of skills in the medical sector. Most expats seeking serious medical care therefore travel abroad, mostly to Turkey or elsewhere in Europe.
Public healthcare in Azerbaijan
Despite positive changes in recent years, public healthcare in Azerbaijan remains inefficient and underfunded. Public hospitals in Azerbaijan are state-run and offer free medical care to Azerbaijani residents. Public facilities include policlinics, which offer outpatient services, and hospitals and specialised clinics, which offer both outpatient and inpatient services. However, most of these facilities are located in Baku and public healthcare is almost non-existent outside the city. Those facilities that do exist suffer an extreme lack of services, equipment and medical staff.
Private healthcare in Azerbaijan
Private medical facilities offer much higher standards of care, including modern equipment and well-qualified staff, and most expats living in Azerbaijan choose to visit private hospitals. The private healthcare sector has undergone expansion in recent years, leaving expats with more choice when it comes to their health.
Although basic emergencies may be attended to in Baku, it may be necessary to be evacuated outside Azerbaijan for any serious medical care. Expats should ensure that they have comprehensive medical insurance to cover any medical evacuations from Azerbaijan.
Private hospitals in Baku
Address: Safarov 1, Baku
Tel: +992 12 483 50 03
Central Clinical Hospital
Address: 76 Parliament Prospect
Tel: +994 12 492 10 92
Address: 45 U. Hajibayov Stree
Tel: +994 12 487 09 11
Pharmacies in Azerbaijan
There are plenty of pharmacies (aptek) in the main cities in Azerbaijan. Many pharmacies in Baku are open 24/7.
Health insurance in Azerbaijan
Medical insurance is mandatory in Azerbaijan. All Azeris are covered by a national health insurance plan, and are entitled to free medical care. Expats in Azerbaijan should ensure that they have private health insurance, which is typically arranged through their employer.
Expats should note that as of January 2016 a reciprocal healthcare agreement between the UK and Azerbaijan is no longer in effect.
Health hazards in Azerbaijan
There are few serious health hazards for Azerbaijan that expats need to be aware of. Malaria is present in some southern regions and prophylaxis may be required.
Water quality is very low in Azerbaijan and expats should avoid drinking tap water.
Pre-travel vaccinations for Azerbaijan
The following vaccinations are recommended before travel to Azerbaijan:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Expats should ensure that all their routine vaccinations are up to date. Please note that the above list is merely a guide, and expats should contact a healthcare professional before travelling to Azerbaijan to confirm all required vaccinations for Azerbaijan.
Emergency services in Azerbaijan
Emergency services are available in Baku, but are very limited outside the city. For an ambulance expats can dial 103.
Azerbaijan has for centuries been regarded as the threshold of Western civilisation and Eastern tradition. It is a country in which people with diverse backgrounds, religions and languages have struggled to live together, forging a national identity that is always somewhere in between East and West. Nowhere do cultures blend as seamlessly and chaotically as in Baku, the country’s capital and largest city. But along Baku’s tree-lined boulevards and weather-beaten walls, a further two elements collide.
History meets modernity on every corner of this metropolis. The Old City’s patchwork of sandy rooftops draped in rich, traditional tapestries contrasts with modern ‘new town’ buildings in the shape of crescent moons and flames.
Oil, the source of Baku’s riches, is also indissolubly connected with its history. People from throughout the world used to bow before Baku’s eternal flames, fanned by the mysterious ‘fire water’ that rose up through the earth’s surface. Today, though far evolved from fire worship, oil fuels businesses and Baku’s burgeoning contemporary art scene. It has set alight a city that is now glowing as one of the most promising capitals in the world.
Source: – expatarrivals.com