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Jamaica Health & Safety Advice

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Medical Services

Jamaican medical care standards vary across the country, with only comprehensive medical services located in Kingston and Montego Bay. Other than in major cities, medical facilities are often under-resourced, and services as well as availability of prescription drugs can be very limited. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation (to the United States) can be very expensive. Doctors and hospitals in Jamaica often require cash payment prior to providing services.

A comprehensive travel medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, is strongly advised for all travelers to Jamaica.


Tap water in tourist areas is normally chlorinated and considered safe to drink. Outside those areas bottled water is recommended.


Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates of all countries in the world. Most of the violent crime happens in Kingston and Spanish Town as well as Montego Bay. Majority of the cases do not involve tourists and happen away from the tourist areas but there has been a significant number of travelers who became victims of robberies, scams, crime and sometimes sexual assault.

Tourists should take all necessary precautions, always pay extra attention to their surroundings when traveling, and keep windows up and doors locked while in a vehicle. Avoid carrying a lot of cash and keep the rest of it together with other valuables and documents in a hotel safe. Try to avoid walking at night in Kingston and downtown Montego Bay, avoid secluded places or situations, go out in groups and watch out for each other. Keep hotel doors and windows securely locked at night - some travelers have experienced security issues even at tourist resorts.

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