Medical care in China is very varied in such a vast country. In major municipalities like Shanghai, there is a wealth of medical care available. Expats should feel secure regarding medical facilities, where there are usually three types of providers: Western-style hospitals and clinics, regular clinics in local hospitals, and VIP clinics in local hospitals.
One thing you need to know is that GPs are practically non-existent in China. Healthcare in China is centered on hospitals, which provide a range of services. Most expats take out a private health insurance and take private treatment at VIP clinics in local hospitals, which aim to provide services to expats. About RMB 150-300 would get you a consultation with either a senior doctor accompanied by an English-speaking nurse or an English-speaking doctor.
The Western-style hospitals and clinics provide a range of services from visits to general practitioners and annual check-ups to surgery and specialty clinics with a combination of expat and local doctors. Some even provide obstetric services and have emergency rooms. However, for those not on an expat package, the cost of care at these hospitals and clinics can be prohibitive if you don’t have an insurance policy that you can direct bill to. So it’s definitely worth having a look into taking out a policy. It is also worth noting that these types of hospitals/clinics are not authorized to provide all the vaccinations required, so you have to go to a local government hospital.
Western-style hospitals and clinics in Shanghai include:
– Parkway Health which has several convenient locations throughout the city and has doctors providing services in over 35 specialties;
– Shanghai United Family which has a hospital in the Changning District with an emergency room and a couple of other clinics in the city;
– Shanghai East International Medical Center offers family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, chiropractic care, specialty care, inpatient care and surgical services;
– Ren Ai International Patient Center which is near IKEA and the Shanghai Indoor Stadium;
– WorldPath Clinic International which is a multi-disciplinary clinic in Pudong.
Local Hospitals include ENT Hospital, Zhongshan (known for thoracic and general surgical departments), Ruijin (known for treatment for burns and general surgery), Renji (known for gastroenterology, immunology and liver transplant), Huashan (known for treatment of skin diseases and neurosurgery), Di Liu Renmin (known for orthopedics) and Di Yi Renmin (known for cardiology and opthamology). For a basic visit, registration fees amount to about RMB 10-20.
Healthcare is definitely something you should be thinking about upon relocating to China. The practices are slightly different and will vary depending on location but it’s always better to know where you need to go if anything does happen!