Staying Healthy in Antigua

Antigua has several health and medical facilities available on the island

Photo credit: © István Csák |

No one wants to get sick on their vacation, but in case you require medical attention while visiting Antigua, several medical facilities are available on the island.

Medical Facilities

Antigua has a number of well-equipped health care facilities, general practitioners, and specialists located on the island, and many hotels have a doctor on site. Check with your hotel's staff when booking your vacation about their medical facilities, especially if someone in your party has any medical conditions that have specific requirements.

There are two main hospitals on Antigua.

  • Holberton Hospital, which is located on Queen Elizabeth Highway in St. John's, and can be reached at 268-462-0251. This hospital provides a casualty department, maternity, radiology, pathology laboratory, pharmacy, intensive care unit, surgery, and children's ward.

  • Adelin Clinic, which is a private facility located on Fort Road in St. John's, can be reached at 268-462-0866. This health care provider offers emergency care, minor surgeries and operations, plastic and re-constructive surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine, and several other medical care provisions.

For any medical emergencies, dial 999, 911, or 268-562-2433.

Pharmacies are located around the island but are concentrated in St. John's. Their usual hours of operation are between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


Health Risks

There are a few health concerns to keep in mind while spending time on Antigua.

  • Dehydration - While enjoying your time on the sunny island of Antigua, it is important to drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages to avoid dehydration. With the cool sea breeze, it may not seem as hot as it really is.

  • Drinking water - The drinking water on Antigua is safe and is often used for ice cubes. Still, the water is different from what you may be accustomed to and may cause some stomach discomfort, so many travelers drink bottled or purified water.

  • The sun/heatstroke - The sun poses a threat to many vacationers who don't wear proper UV protection. Sun rays can be extremely harmful if the right sun screen isn't worn. Also, prolonged exposure to the sun and heat can cause heat stroke. Dizziness, fever, feeling flushed or extremely hot can be symptoms of heat stroke. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

If you need regular doses of a particular medication, remember to pack your prescription in its clearly labeled original container (no "Day of the Week" pill boxes).  Additionally, include a prescription slip or not from your doctor, clearly signed, detailing the medication and why you need to take it. This will make for a smooth transition through customs.

In order to prevent unnecessary trip to the drug store where prices may be marked up, consider bringing with you a Travel Medical Kit.  In it, you should pack the following:

  • Painkillers including acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen;
  • Antihistamines;
  • Topical disinfectant;
  • Antacids;
  • Rubbing alcohol;
  • Bandages;
  • Thermometer.


Antigua does not have any immunization requirements while visiting the island, unless the visitor is arriving from an endemic area. When traveling to any foreign country, it is good to check with your doctor, as well as the World Health Organization's Web site.

Knowing what to do in the event of a medical emergency will help you to keep a calm head if such an occasion arises.  When all else fails, dial 999 or 911, and someone in Antigua will be happy to assist you.


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