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Foreigners can use both Western and Chinese hospitals and healthcare facilities in China. Your company may have a policy to use certain providers & facilities so you should check with HR. As you might expect western facilities cost a lot more than local ones, but are generally easier to use for foreigners. You should take the time to visit and choose which healthcare facilities you will use before you need them. For local facilities you normally need cash to get treatment & for western facilities you need to find out which ones accept your health insurance or how you can pay.


These hospitals & clinics are used to dealing with foreigners, provide western medicine & treatments and are usually staffed by foreign and foreign trained Chinese staff. They also carry stocks of imported medicines in their pharmacy, and can deliver international vaccinations according to international schedules. It is wise to visit various facilities, before you need them, so you can choose where to go if or when you do need medical attention. These healthcare providers are used to giving guided tours to ease your mind about your future requirements. Many employers & medical insurance companies have a specified or preferred facility


A standard doctor’s visit will include the following steps:

  • 1. Obtaining (and paying for) a number/ticket for the correct department (see below)
  • 2. Waiting to see the doctor. There may be a line, waiting crowd or they may call your number.
  • 3. Sitting opposite the desk of a doctor and describing symptoms to him/her and answering questions
  • he/she may have. There will be other doctors and patients in the room at this time.
  • 4. The doctor prescribes any tests or treatments.
  • 5. You go to the payment area and pay for any tests or treatments.
  • 6. You go to the appropriate testing area or pharmacy for treatment.
  • 7. Ater any tests, return with the results to show to the original doctor who decides on treatment.
  • 8. If the doctor prescribes medication it may be Chinese, westetern or often a combination of both.
  • 9. Proceed again to the payment area then to the pharmacy for the medication.
  • No treatment will be given before cash payment, and this can result in many trips between the cashier & the various treatment rooms/doctors offices. Make sure you have enough cash or a debit card to a Chinese bank account with you for the treatment of yourself or your family.


    United Family Hospitals
    World Link
    Global Healthcare
    Shanghai East International Medical Center