If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.
See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.
Preparing for travel
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries. You can take medicines into India as long as you carry the prescription with you. Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances are prohibited. For further information, contact the High Commission of India in London or view the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website and the Indian Customs website. Guidance on best practice when travelling with medicines is also available on the NaTHNaC website.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
Severe air pollution is a major hazard to public health, especially during the winter months. New Delhi and other North Indian cities are currently experiencing extremely high levels of pollution. Children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. If you’re pregnant, or have a respiratory or heart condition you may wish to consult a medical practitioner before you travel.
You can find advice on air quality on the World Health Organization (WHO) website and check air quality levels for Indian cities in real time on the World Air Quality Index website. More information and advice is available on the TravelHealthPro website and from the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research, Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
The Indian authorities have introduced new measures in relation to coronavirus. See Coronavirus
Local medical facilities are not comparable to those in the UK, especially in more remote areas. For psychiatric illness, specialised treatment may not be available outside major cities. In major cities private medical care is available, but expensive. The British High Commission publishes a list of the most commonly used hospitals. You’re strongly advised to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers the duration of stay in India.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 102 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
If you’re travelling to India for organ transplant surgery, check in advance with the hospital to find out what proof they need about your circumstances in the UK. You may need to submit evidence of your marriage and birth of your children before the operation can take place. You can get copies of marriage and birth certificates from the General Register Office in the UK. You may wish to consider having them legalised by the FCDO Legalisation office before travelling. The British High Commission cannot provide guarantees and certificates on your behalf.
There are some high altitude tourist destinations in and around India where visitors can be susceptible to altitude sickness and extreme weather conditions. If you’re planning to travel to a higher altitude area, our advice would be to check details and any precautions/medications you need to take before making the journey.
Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever occur all year round. There’s been an increase in the number of cases of dengue fever, including in New Delhi.
UK health authorities have classified India as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Cases of Chikungunya Virus have been confirmed in India, including in New Delhi. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
There was a confirmed case of Nipah Virus in Kerala in June 2019. For information, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.