Chennai Health

Are there any vaccinations I should get or other health precautions to take as I prepare for my move to your city?
Keep up with your regular vaccinations, especially those for typhoid, gamma globulin and tetanus inoculations. No tests are required to be taken prior to arrival. Visit your doctor to get the latest advice on vaccinations.
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Before I get sick, what should I know about seeking medical care in your city as an expat?
There is no national health insurance scheme. Some of the larger hospitals have arrangements with newly formed multinational insurance companies. Health Insurance is now available in India, but most expatriates choose to insure in their home country. Many large corporates pay for local insurance coverage as a part of compensation.
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What is the word for "doctor" in the local language?
The word is the same as English: doctor.
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What is the best way to locate a suitable health care provider?
It is best to get recommendations from friends on a good hospital for routine and emergency treatment as well. There are well-managed hospitals with good facilities and doctors on call in Chennai. There are alternative channels of medicine like homeopathy and Ayurvedic patterns of diagnosis and treatment, which are very advanced and highly trusted locally. The most renowned hospital within the expatriate community in Chennai is the Apollo Hospital, which has various branches throughout the city. Also recommended are the MIOT Hospital, Malar Hospital and Venkateswara Hospital.
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Do expats in the area tend to leave the city/area/country to seek medical care? If so, why and where do they go?
Expats generally do not leave the city/country to seek medical care. Doing so is only necessary if the ailment is very serious in nature and requires specialized expertise that is not available in India.
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What is the number to call to summon help in an emergency? List medical/fire/police.
Ambulance - 1066
Fire - 101
Police - 100
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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?
Dial 1066, which will take you to the hospital.
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How will I recognize a pharmacy? What is it called in the local language?
All hospitals and clinics will have pharmacies adjoined or have a few shops nearby. Some are day-and-night chemist shops; others are open only during the daytime. However, be careful of herbal and other exotic medicines and drugs locally advertised that may not be suitable to treat your condition. Some medications are available under different names and many prescription drugs are offered over the counter.
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Is the water safe to drink?
Water is a major concern, since city water is not safe to drink. If there are water shortages, your house or apartment may be serviced by water trucks. Do not drink from taps and keep purified water in bathrooms for brushing teeth, etc. Most expatriates order containers of purified water delivered to your house. You can also opt for a filtering system for drinking water supply. Make sure filters are changed regularly, and the equipment is functioning properly. It is also suggested to cook rice, pasta and vegetables in drinking water (delivered in water canisters).
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