Travel to Morocco

14/06/2013 -- Admin
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Marrakesh, bazaars, Sahara desert, camel treks, couscous, mint tea, Casablanca, desert adventures, Djemma el Fna, carpets, Tangier, Fes, bubbly pipes, Rabat, Roman ruins, Berbers, sailing, horse riding, trekking, climbing, water sports, beaches, religious heritage, kaftans, wind surfing, Taghazoute, Agadir, Hercules Cave, Atlas mountains, Essaouira, Ouarzazate, riads, tajines …

Check the Foreign Office website before you book your holiday to Morocco. If you ignore Government travel warnings, your insurance policy will be worthless.

"Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation." (Official advice, 2013)

Medical and Health

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Cholera, Rabies, Tetanus, Tuberculosis and Typhoid are all present to some extent in Morocco, so make sure vaccinations are up to date. 

People with chronic liver disease (existing condition) should take extra care as hep A inflames the liver. 

Although Morocco is in North Africa, for insurance purposes it’s usually zoned under Europe.

Britain doesn’t have a health care agreement with Morocco, so your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) won’t be of any use if you need emergency medical treatment inside the country. 

But take your EHIC card with you anyway as your insurer will probably waive the excess if they need to move you to a hospital in nearby Gibraltar, France or Spain.

Doctors and Hospitals

Outside the main cities and towns healthcare facilities are basic. Few medical staff speak English.

Initial emergency treatment is sometimes free, but even in state run hospitals you’ll be charged for most things (scans, blood tests, x-rays, medication, overnight hospital stays).

British tourists in need of hospital care will be taken to a private hospital or clinic where treatment is pricey, so it’s vital to have comprehensive medical insurance including cover for repatriation costs.

Medical facilities are scarce in desert areas in the disputed territory of Western Sahara, although the main cities of Smara, Laayoune and Dhakla have hospitals, clinics and pharmacies. 

If you fall ill or have a serious accident in a remote area, you’ll need to be airlifted to a major Moroccan city such as Agadir, Casablanca or Rabat, possibly even France or Spain, for treatment.

In certain cases your insurer will organise repatriation to a UK hospital.

Prescriptions

There’s usually no problem getting basic medicines in the large towns and cities.  You could run into difficulties with more complex prescriptions so make sure you take an adequate supply, especially if you already are receiving treatment for a medical condition

Availability is trickier in rural areas where pharmacies are few and far between, if any. 

Remember medication can go off in the heat if not stored properly. 

Check use by dates on medicines and only buy from trustworthy pharmacists.  There’s a flourishing black market in counterfeit drugs. 

Emergency chemists (pharmacies du garde), and their addresses are usually posted in chemists’ windows. 

  • National Travel Heath Network and Centre  for information on vaccination requirements and health advice for Morocco.
  • Foreign Office Travel Advice  The UK government strongly recommends comprehensive travel insurance for Morocco.