Get informed about medical facilities in China including medical facilities in major Chinese towns, medical insurance, use of credit cards in hospitals, common difficulties, and condition of ambulances.

Medical Facilities

Here is information regarding medical facilities in China. The information includes medical facilities in major Chinese towns, medical insurance, use of credit cards in hospitals, common difficulties, condition of ambulances and medication in rural regions.

High Level Medical Facilities
Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have the medical facilities having international staffs. Many hospitals in Chinese cities have wards called VIP wards, locally known as gaogan bingfang. These wards are equipped up-to-date laboratory and imaging facilities. The doctors and specialists in these centers are usually well-trained. These VIP wards provide medical services to foreigners. They have English-speaking doctors and nurses, therefore communication would not be a problem here.

Medical Insurance
Hospitals in China usually don't accept medical insurance. However, the hospitals which are on the BlueCross BlueShield's worldwide network providers accept United States and European medical insurances. The hospitals associated with the network in Beijing are Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing Friendship Hospital, International Medical Center in Beijing, and Peking Union Medical Center. The people are asked to post a deposit prior to admission which would cover the expected cost of treatment. The costs could be later recovered by the insurance.

Using Credit Cards in Hospitals
In major towns, one could use credit cards for payment. However, credit cards would not work in smaller cities.

Common Difficulties
Foreigners could face difficulties in Chinese hospitals due to cultural, language, and regulatory differences. Sometimes, the hospitals could refuse to give the foreign patients complete copies of their hospital medical records. The medication available could also be different from the medication used in your own country.

Ambulances usually have preliminary medical equipments and first aid medication. They do not carry sophisticated medical equipment. If anyone in your group is seriously injured or ill, take taxis other immediately available vehicles to the nearest major hospital rather than waiting for ambulances.

Medication in Rural Regions
You should expect only rudimentary medical facilities in rural areas. The medical personnel would be poorly trained and have insufficient medical equipment and medicines.