Information for Patients
Most hospitals are government-run, managed by the Ministry of Public Health, with a few private and internationally-run hospitals in existence. For more advanced health care, patients travel to the city Kabul within Afghanistan and to other surrounding countries such as Pakistan and India. The two most popular children’s hospitals are the French Medical Institute for Children and the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital, both in Kabul. Outside of Kabul, health service providers are available within a two-hour walk for 87% of the population. It is important to note that the country’s healthcare services has been deeply impacted by continual political shifts in leadership, along with intermittent disruptions caused by wars for the past 50 years.
Information for Health Care Professionals
The World Health Organization, WHO, is actively expanding medical training in Kabul based on the model of the Kabul Medical University, with eight medical universities planning to implement this model. All physicians must have a license and a medical council registration number, obtained from the Ministry of Public Health. Despite this regulation, medical professionals within the private health care sector may not have valid practicing licenses.
All medical professionals may use the National Standard Treatment Guidelines for the Primary Level manual (see references for link). There is a shortage of doctors and nurses.
Information for Travelers
Travelers are advised to seek help from their travel insurance health company in case of emergency. Be prepared to pay upfront at most hospitals in Afghanistan, regardless of travel insurance policies. Serious emergencies requiring medical evacuation is limited, and most likely will require military intervention. Despite pharmacies being inadequately stocked, avoid purchasing from unlicensed pharmacies or markets, as fake medications are common.
The common language of hospitals in Afghanistan is both English and Pashto.
Ministry of Health: https://moph.gov.af/en
National Standard Treatment Guidelines for the Primary Level manual: https://moph.gov.af/sites/default/files/2019-07/NSTG%20English.pdf