Guide to Visiting a Doctor in China
When looking for a hospital or doctor it is always recommended to bring a friend who can speak the local language fluently. If you are a student or worker you should have a handler to help you with these specific problems. Please do not hesitate to use any of your resources you have access to it because these establishments hire people for the sole purpose to take care of expats living in the country.
Visiting a doctor is the same across China there may be minor differences from province to province when it comes to paperwork or organization. The recommended locations are from a city is called Chongqing because their medical programs in University are highly ranked top 3.5 percent in the world. It shows how underrated China medical system is when it comes to being viewed by western culture.
Going to a Hospital in China
Once you arrive at the hospital you must head to the ticket desk to receive a ticket to be able to go to the correct department. The ticket desk may ask for a small fee depending on what you need to get done. When you are at the correct department speak with the front desk person to place in line.
Once you are called in to see the doctor they will provide a paper with a prescription on it. Afterward, proceed to the pay window and hand them the receipt to receive the test or prescription. The person must provide a slip with a special stamp as proof of payment because this is the only way to prove you paid. Without the stamp, you cannot receive the medicine or whatever tests you need doing.
The wait times in China can be long so you need to be patient.
Scheduling an Online Appointment
Most doctors work in large hospitals and booking online is possible to arrange an appointment as many hospitals offer online booking. Calling the location is an option would be considered the best choice since they can offer accurate wait times. Please make sure you talk to the correct department or get them to transfer you to the right one.
With this option of calling or booking online, you do need to speak Mandarin, or your friend must do it. Therefore, walking in the hospital is the easiest option for a person with limited Chinese available. Some doctors and staff may know English but do not rely on this as they’re not guaranteeing of this happening or being available.
Results from Testing
Any scans or diagnostic test you need doing are going to at a different part of the hospital to ask for help from the front desk to navigate. To get the results it may take a few hours up too few days, but you will be notified the timeline by the person servicing you. They will tell you to come back to the doctor to speak with him/her to explain the results you received.
Chinese medical system is not free for locals or expats so please check with the school or your workplace what type of medical plan you have to get reimbursed at later date.
Having a Common Illness in China
If you do not know this already, China has two medical systems that the local people believe in. The first is the traditional medicine which has been practiced around over 2500 years in the country and modern medicine that we know today.
It not necessary to go to a hospital for every little thing as there plenty of supermarkets or local store that have traditional Chinese medicine or basic over the counter drugs. The over the counter drugs tend to significantly weaker compared to western standards and when taking any medicine either traditional or modern methods please get someone to explain.
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