Healthcare facilities for expatriates range from world standard, in Beijing and Shanghai, to well below Western standards in the smaller and less “international ” cities.
We have here given you a basic introduction to healthcare ( both inpatient and outpatient) in several Chinese cities, where there is significant foreign investment. The standard of healthcare services available to expatriates in smaller cities falls well below the standards described below.
Chinese public hospitals in large cities in China are often equipped with top standard medical equipment. Standards of medical care, however, often do not meet the expectations of expatriates. The number of local hospitals and clinics in China that offer quality, high standards of medical care to meet these expectations is growing. Some public hospitals do have VIP clinics and VIP wards which do have higher standards of care.
Local hospitals are much cheaper than international clinics and hospitals but many only accept cash payments and patients must pay before receiving medical care. Generally expatriates will prefer to attend international hospitals and clinics, because the standards of care are more familiar, doctors are overseas-trained and English (and sometimes other languages) is spoken by doctors and medical staff. These international hospitals and clinics, on the other hand, do have very high fees.
It is advisable, therefore, to obtain international medical insurance before arrival in China. Once you have medical insurance, you should always check with your insurance provider about where you can go to receive medical treatment that will be covered by your policy as some providers have agreements with international hospitals and clinics that will offer direct billing. If you have to attend a hospital you will often have to pay for your treatment on the spot using a credit or debit card and your health insurance provider will reimburse you later.
Health Care Services in Shanghai
Many medical facilities in Shanghai are of an International standard and have English-speaking, as well as, other language-speaking staff.
In Shanghai, international hospitals can provide many services. Some international facilities provide trauma care, more acute level inpatient services and cardiac care. Large public Chinese hospitals offer a broad range of these services. VIP clinics connected to these hospitals are able to transfer care internally.
International clinics in Shanghai, normally partner with larger local hospitals, such as Huashan Hospital, Ruijing Hospital and Zhongshan Hospital, where they can direct patients who need specialized help-this is called a green channel.
VIP clinics, which are normally connected to public hospitals, tend to be anywhere from eight to 10 times more expensive than Chinese public hospitals, but normally do not have English-speaking doctors, they do accept appointments, generally have higher standards than average Chinese public hospitals, and now most even accept international health insurance.
The costs at International hospitals and clinics are normally 30-50 percent higher than services at VIP clinics. The prices may be steep but with direct billing with many different international insurance companies and a variety of packages for payment plans (i.e. maternity and orthodontics), making payments doesn’t have to be an issue.
Shanghai has various dental clinics catering for expats.
Shanghai United Family Hospital and Clinics
Shanghai United Family Hospital & Clinics is the first full service, international standard hospital established in Shanghai, providing both inpatient and outpatient care, all under one roof. Services include Family and Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Surgery, Dentistry, Counseling, Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy. Inpatient services include adult and pediatric facilities for both general inpatient and intensive care. The Emergency Department is open 24 hours / 7 days and is uniquely staffed at all times with western-trained, English-speaking emergency physicians.
Parkway Health Clinic
Six locations in Shanghai which mostly cover clinics and outpatient treatment. These clinics range from the spa-like Gleneagles health retreat at the JW Marriott Hotel to the general clinic format found at the Shanghai Centre on Nanjing Road and the Pudong clinic in Jin Qiao. Parkway also offers full service dental care.
Shanghai Redleaf International Women’s Hospital
Located in the former French Concession area on Middle Huaihai Road, Redleaf includes a 105-bed inpatient center, offering an extensive selection of services in the fields of Gynecology, Obstetrics, Newborn Care, Pediatrics and Postpartum Recovery. 24-hour appointment hotline.
Health Care Services in Beijing
Beijing has many hospitals and clinics that offer services ranging from low-cost local hospitals to high-priced international hospitals. These international hospitals and clinics have excellent medical facilities with foreign-trained doctors and nurses speaking multiple languages. Many will offer a variety of services in multiple locations across Beijing including dental care, paediatric specialists, nutritionists, psychologists and even Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) specialists. The larger international medical clinics also have a pharmacy attached to the clinic should you require medication and many Western brands of medicine are available there.
In addition to hospitals and clinics it should be noted that if you have children attending international schools here in Beijing, they often have small medical emergency facilities onsite staffed by qualified nurses who are also a good source of information and often alert you to common children’s illnesses and how to treat them.
There is also a growing expat community of alternative therapy providers and those promoting healthy living options for living in Beijing. There are numerous WeChat groups and official accounts that provide you with daily tips for staying healthy. Some of the larger international health providers are also offering such services and promoting them to the expat community through social media.
A sample of international medical providers is listed below:
Beijing United Family Hospital (http://beijing.ufh.com.cn) also known as BJU. They have Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation as an international-standard medical provider. BJU provides both inpatient and outpatient services.
Hospital Address: 2 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing [They have 10 clinics across Beijing covering most areas where the expat community live]
Raffles Medical (formerly International SOS) (https://www.rafflesmedicalgroup.com/beijing)
Address: Suite 105, Wing 1, Kunsha Building, 16 Xinyuanli, Chaoyang District, Beijing
International Medical Centre (http://www.imcclinics.com)
Address: S-106/S-110, Beijing Lufthansa Centre, 50 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Bayley and Jackson Medical Centre (http://www.bjhealthcare.com)
Address: 7 Ritan Dong Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Oasis International Hospital (http://www.oasishealth.cn/l-en/index.html)
Vista Medical Centre (http://www.vista-china.net/en/)
Address: Level 3 Kerry Centre Shopping Mall, 1 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
A sample of local hospitals is listed below:
Peking Union Medical College Hospital (http://www.pumch.cn/en.html)
Address: Peking Union Medical College Hospital (East), No. 1 Shuaifuyuan Wangfujing Dongcheng District, Beijing
Peking Union Medical College Hospital (West), No. 41 Damucang Hutong, Xicheng District, Beijing
Address: 2 Yinghuayuan Dongjie, Beijing
Healthcare services in Xiamen
Xiamen has many standard, professional and well equipped hospitals, however it does not to date have any international hospitals such as can be found in larger cities such as Beijing or Shanghai. The main concern in the expat community will be finding English speaking medical staff with whom you can communicate effectively. In these circumstances it is advisable to bring a Chinese speaking friend along with you to your appointment. Some hospitals and one clinic do have English speaking staff and they are listed below.
City Medical Xiamen (http://www.citymedicalxiamen.com) According to their website City Medical Consultancy was established in 2002 under it’s previous name Lifeline Medical System. Their main task is to provide expatriates and business travellers to Xiamen a “quality, accessible and international standard medical care”. Their facilities are located a few meters from the Sofitel and Marco Polo hotels. It is equipped with “international standard equipment and medicines”. They have some English speaking staff making communication and consultation easier.
Address: 1-123 Xidi Villa, Hubin Bei Road, Xiamen City.
The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen (http://en.xmfh.com.cn) This hospital has a VIP clinic on the 5th floor and has some English speaking nursing staff.
Address: No.55 Zhenhai Road,Siming District
Xiamen Chang Gung Hospital (www.cgmh.com.cn) (not in English) This hospital has a good reputation among the expat community in Xiamen. Many of the doctors and nurses can speak English and have experience treating expats.
Address: No.123, Xiafei Road, Xinyang Industrial perk
Health care services in Chongqing
The choice of international standard medical facilities in Chongqing is limited compared to other large cities in China. It does however have several hospitals with some English speaking medical staff.
There is one international clinic. Global Doctors, located in the Hilton Hotel Chongqing that provides basic (GP) health care for many expatriates who live and work in Chongqing. They provide multi-lingual services English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. They also have cooperation with the following health insurance companies; Aetna, GBG, Goodhealth, Cigna, Bupa, Wellbe, SSC, Mondial, Prestige, EAJ and PICC. Their medical services are supported by the Emergency Centre of Chongqing (Chongqing No. 4 Hospital).
The Jinshan International Hospital is probably the best in-patient option in Chongqing for expatriates, but while they have state of the art equipment, their “soft” services are generally not up to expatriate standards. They do have a team of experienced medical experts who are proficient in several foreign languages as well as an English telephone service.
Global Doctors Alliance (http://globaldoctors.asia/v2/index.php/global-doctors-alliance/china/chongging-clinic)
Address: Rook 701, Business Tower, Hilton Hotel Chongqing, No. 139 Zhong Shan San Lu, Yuzhong District, Chongqing.
Jinshan International Hospital
Address: 39 Yuanyang Lake, Yubei Economic Development Zone, Chongqing
Health Care Services in Nanjing
There are several good options for outpatient healthcare in Nanjing. Just like in other cities these international style clinics are expensive and therefore having international health insurance is advisable. You will often be required to pay for your care upfront with a credit card and seek reimbursement from your health insurance provider later. Facilities such as Global Doctor and SOS also have onsite pharmacies and offer membership discounts.
Global Doctor Nanjing Clinic, No.12 Xianyin N Rd, Qixia Qu, Nanjing Shi, Jiangsu Sheng, China, 210046
They provide general medical services with experienced foreign doctors as well as medical support staff who speak multiple languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Mandarin. Their medical facilities include: international standard pharmacy, full laboratory, x-ray equipment, general diagnostic equipment, ultrasound equipment, ECG equipment, ophthalmic equipment, Gynecological equipment, Emergency room, and a special medical examination room.
International SOS Nanjing Clinic, Ground Floor, Grand Metropark Hotel, 319 East Zhongshan Road, Xuanwu District, Nanjing 210016, China
The Nanjing clinic has been operating since 1999. They have a qualified team of doctors and healthcare professionals who offer general practice and family health, vaccination services and an on-site pharmacy. International SOS can also co-ordinate and provide emergency evacuation.
United Family Nanjing Clinic 2F No.39 Chuangzhi Rd, Jianye District, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province
Health Care Services in Suzhou
There are a number of hospitals in Suzhou that offer a VIP clinic for expats. These “VIP” clinics are generally staffed with English speaking and foreign trained doctors. There are also a number of international clinics in areas that have large expat communities, several are listed below.
Parkway Health China, Room 203, Building 10, No 1 Li Gong Di Road, Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP)
This Singapore based healthcare group provides a team of bilingual doctors and nurses who have been trained in the United States, United Kingdom and France. A comprehensive range of medical services include: gynecology, psychology, and physical therapy, and access to X-ray, ultrasound and EKG facilities. The SND clinic offers family medical services and a more basic range of medical treatment. Both centers have onsite laboratory and pharmacy services
Suzhou Kowloon Hospital, 118 Wansheng Street, Suzhou Industry Park
This hospital provides a VIP and Foreign Medical Clinic located on the first floor with internationally trained physicians and multi-lingual medical staff speaking Chinese, English, French, Korean and Japanese.
SingHealth Asia, 198 Xing Hai Street, Suzhou Industrial Park
This is a Singapore invested clinic which provides health care for both the local and expatriate communities to international standards. They have three locations in Suzhou close to the international schools and expat communities. Their medical team includes physicians who speak English, Mandarin, French, German and Korean.