Foreign travel advice

North Korea

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

Health facilities in North Korea are poor. Standards of clinical hygiene in hospitals are low. Anaesthetics are sometimes unavailable. Evacuation is likely to be necessary for serious illness or injury. Avoid surgery if at all possible. Facilities for dental treatment are also poor.

Make sure you take sufficient supplies of any medication that you may need. Most foreign-manufactured medicines aren’t available. Even when they are, they’re sometimes out of date and inappropriately prescribed. Local medical supplies, including oriental medicines exist, but can also be limited.

Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. If you’re participating in any sporting activities like running, skiing or cycling, make sure this is covered in your insurance

Japanese encephalitis occurs in North Korea, especially during the summer. Cholera also occurs and all water is a potential health risk. You should drink or use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.