Basic medical care is available in major Pakistani cities but is limited in rural areas. Facilities in cities vary in quality and range of services and may be below U.S. standards. Facilities in rural areas are consistently below U.S. standards. Medical facilities require pre-payment for services, and most do not accept credit cards.
Effective emergency response to personal injury and illness is virtually non-existent in most of Pakistan. Ambulances are few, lack medical equipment, and are not necessarily staffed by medical personnel.
Visitors and foreign residents should bring sufficient supplies of prescription and commonly used over-the-counter medications. Many U.S.-brand medications are not available, there is a high incidence of fake pharmaceuticals, and the quality of locally produced medications is uneven.
Water is not potable anywhere in Pakistan, and sanitation in most restaurants is inadequate. Diarrheal illnesses are common.
There is a risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other communicable diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV, in Pakistan. Travelers are urged to use the same cautionary and protective health measures they would in their own country.
Air pollution is a significant environmental problem across Pakistan. Throughout the country, air quality varies considerably by city and fluctuates greatly depending on the season and local weather patterns.