< Back Are there any vaccinations I should get or other health precautions to take as I prepare for my move to your city? Before I get sick, what should I know about seeking medical care in your city as an expat? What is the word for "doctor" in the local language? What is the best way to locate a suitable health care provider? Do expats in the area tend to leave the city/area/country to seek medical care? If so, why and where do they go? What is the number to call to summon help in an emergency? List medical/fire/police. What do I do if there's an emergency in the middle of the night—or at another time when my normal doctor/clinic is unavailable? How will I recognize a pharmacy? What is it called in the local language? Is the water safe to drink? Are there any vaccinations I should get or other health precautions to take as I prepare for my move to your city? Recent changes to the United States immigration law resulted in visa applicants being required to obtain certain vaccinations (listed below) prior to the issuance of a visa. Mumps Measles Rubella Polio Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids Pertussis Influenza type B Hepatitis B Varicella Pneumococcal Influenza It is recommended that normal childhood vaccinations of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP) and polio be up-to-date. You should also take copies of all your medical records with you and consult your home country's vaccination regulations for re-entry or repatriation. ↑ Top Before I get sick, what should I know about seeking medical care in your city as an expat? The United States does not have socialized medical care. You'll need to secure your own health insurance and take all your information with you when visiting a doctor or hospital. If you do not have health coverage, you will have to pay for health care out of your own finances at the time service is provided. This can run into many thousands of dollars for serious illnesses, so insurance should be a top priority. The doctors and hospitals in the U.S. are very good and dependable. In San Francisco, there are many good hospitals, medical facilities and private practices available to you. To find a suitable health care provider, contact your insurance company to obtain a list of names or check with your employer's Human Resources department for more information. You can also find extensive listings in your local yellow pages. ↑ Top What is the word for "doctor" in the local language? You can say Doctor or Physician. ↑ Top What is the best way to locate a suitable health care provider? As stated above, your company's Human Resources department along with your health insurance provider can supply you with a list of reputable physicians or you can look in the local yellow pages under "Physicians." Another great way to find a good doctor is by asking your co-workers, neighbors and friends. Often word-of-mouth is the best resource. ↑ Top Do expats in the area tend to leave the city/area/country to seek medical care? If so, why and where do they go? The Bay Area is host to many excellent health-care facilities and medical universities. As such, there is no need to go elsewhere for treatment. ↑ Top What is the number to call to summon help in an emergency? List medical/fire/police. Dial 911 for all emergencies. The person handling the call will direct your call to the correct department: ambulance, fire or police depending on which is needed. ↑ Top What do I do if there's an emergency in the middle of the night—or at another time when my normal doctor/clinic is unavailable? If an emergency occurs in the middle of the night call 911 and wait for an ambulance or have a relative or friend drive you to the closest hospital in your area. Major hospitals have 24-hour emergency clinics. Identifying the 24-hour emergency clinic closest to where you live is an important first task once you settle in. ↑ Top How will I recognize a pharmacy? What is it called in the local language? Pharmacies are also located in local drug stores and hospitals. Major local drugstores include Walgreens and Rite Aid. ↑ Top Is the water safe to drink? Yes, but if you prefer, local supermarkets also sell bottled water. ↑ Top IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.