East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 1, No. 4, Fall 1993, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe

Practically Speaking

Travel Resources

U.S. citizens are well advised to purchase Tips for Travelers to Russia--including information useful for:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.  The 1993 edition of this U.S. Department of State publication is available for $1 from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402; tel:  202-783-3238.  This invaluable guide includes essential information concerning visas, in-country travel, health precautions, currency, customs, and crime prevention.

Tips also provides instructions for obtaining State Department Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings.  As important as it is for U.S. citizens to seek State Department counsel when planning travel abroad, it should also be noted that government agencies tend to advise extreme caution (while travel agents tend to give less credence to government travel advisories).  In any case, travellers should exercise common sense and reasonable precautions abroad, taking into account the possibilities of their greater vulnerability to dehydration, exhaustion, sickness, and crime.  In contrast, the last revision of the State Department's Tips for Travelers to Eastern Europe was April 1991 and, therefore, has limited value today.

Russian Information Services has published Tips for Travel to Russia and the CIS (August 1993).  This 16-page booklet, available free of charge to inquirers who provide self-addressed, stamped #10 envelopes, includes vital information on travel planning, visa information, and health and crime concerns.  Tips is a distillation of practical advice found in Paul E. Richardson's Russian Survival Guide:  Business and Travel (May 1993), available for $18.50 from R.I.S.  Also ask for Access Russia, a free, 14-page, annotated catalog of directories, dictionaries, maps, and travel guides.  Contact:

Russian Information Services 
89 Main St., #2 
Montpelier, VT 05602 
Tel:  802-223-4955; fax:  802-223-6105
4 Bol'shoi Kondrat'evskii per., kor. 2, kv. 168 
123056 Moscow,  Russia 
Tel/fax:  095-254-9275

Two exceptionally informative travel handbooks for Christians going to the former Soviet Union and East Central Europe provide practical and perceptive insights into the societies and the churches of former Soviet-bloc countries. The March 1993 edition of Handbook for Christian Travelers to the CIS contains helpful cultural orientation and background on various denominations. The Handbook for Christian Travelers to Eastern Europe (last revised in April 1991) still contains valuable briefing for trips to Albania, Bulgaria, (former) Czechoslovakia, (former) East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and (former) Yugoslavia. Available for $4 each from:


American Medical Center Opens in St. Petersburg:  Other Centers Planned for Seven Former Soviet Bloc Cities

Bill Pietrucha

American Medical Centers opened its first clinic in Moscow in 1991.  Both the Moscow facility and the new St. Petersburg center include out-patient family practice and trauma centers.

The clinics offer four basic membership plans-corporate, family, individual, and student.  In the most extensive plan, companies pay an annual subscription fee of $1,000 to ensure 24-hour service, along with a deposit based on the number of employees in the company.  Corporate visitors are automatically covered.  The family plan costs $500 per year, or $80 per month on a short-term basis.  The individual plan is $250 per year, or $40 per month; and the student plan costs $200 per year, or $25 per month.

AMC prices are comparable with East Coast U.S. hospital and medical care.  Most treatments at the Russian clinics are covered by Western medical insurance companies.

AMC employs seven Western general-practice physicians at the Moscow clinic.  The physicians come from the United States, Canada, Sweden, and India and work with 14 registered nurses from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Italy, and Holland.  The clinic also has a Russian X-ray technician and radiologist and pharmacist.

The Moscow clinic has admitting privileges at the "Kremlin" hospitals - so called because they are the official government hospitals for President Boris Yeltsin and the government elite.  To handle the growing clientele of American expatriates, other foreigners, and high-income local nationals, AMC is planning to open additional facilities in Vladivostok, Kiev, Alma Ata, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, and Sofia, during the next two years. 

Editor's note: Excerpted with permission from WE/Mbl, 6-19 September 1993, p. 7. See EWC&M Report 1 (Spring 1993), p. 11, for additional information on AMC.

Practically Speaking: Travel Resources, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 1 (Fall 1993), 12.

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1993 East-West Church and Ministry Report
ISSN 1069-5664

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