There have been many books written about how to explore every nook and cranny of Beijing. There are countless websites and a slew of magazines detailing where you can shop all day and then eat and drink the night away, but when it comes to your health there are surprisingly few resources available to your average expat. If you get a really bad case of the sniffles or if you feel like your appendix is about to burst where can you go? Beijing offers some very good health services, both Chinese and foreign run. Although some expats tend to be a little bias towards Beijing hospitals, thinking that all are dirty and lack proper medical services, this is not quite fair considering Beijing has some of the oldest and most respected hospitals in China. It is just a matter of going to the right hospital and being treated by a good doctor. Read on to find out more about the best options that are available to you in Beijing.
Hospitals and clinics geared towards expats
We will start of with the hospitals and clinics that are geared toward expats but also serve Chinese. At these hospitals and clinics you should be attended to by an English speaking staff and the services should be more along the lines you are accustomed to back home.
1) Beijing United Family Hospital (and clinics)
For expats, Beijing United Family Hospital (BJU) is the best choice. The hospital was founded in 1997 as a joint-venture between two enterprising American women and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. It offers state of the art medical services and was the first hospital in Beijing to receive accreditation from the Joint Commission International. It boasts over 100 qualified physicians from over 20 countries and can handle most medical issues. In addition to the main hospital, BJU also operates two clinics in Beijing. Simply put, their services and quality of care are what you would expect back home. But be warned…it is going to cost you.
2) SOS International (formerly AEA International)
The Beijing SOS clinic is part of SOS’s larger global network of clinics and emergency services geared towards expats living abroad. The clinic in Beijing is staffed by a team of well-qualified physicians and specialises in family practice medicine, as well as providing 24-hour emergency services. Like BJU, SOS will cost you a pretty penny, unless of course you have insurance or an employer that will cover the costs for you! But keep in mind, SOS is not a fully staffed hospital, and for more serious cases you will be evacuated to somewhere else.
3) Hong Kong International Medical Clinic
The Hong Kong International Medical Clinic (HKCLINIC) was the first joint-venture medical service set up in Beijing in 1993. Ever since then it has been serving Beijing with dental services, ophthalmology and family practice medicine. Like SOS, it is just a clinic, and while it can handle most run-of-the-mill medical conditions, you will be referenced somewhere else for more serious aliments.
4) International Medical Center Beijing
Located near the Lufthansa Center in the heart of Chaoyang District, the International Medical Center Beijing has been servicing the expat community for years. With a full range of services including dental, minor surgery, and doctors that are on call 24 hours a day, it can handle most of your medical needs. A great feature of the clinic is that it offers drop-in services for foreign travellers in Beijing.
5) Bayley & Jackson Medical Center
While Bayley & Jackson is well known for their dental services, they also offer a fairly comprehensive range of medical services at reasonable prices. In addition to excellent physical check-up services, they also offer 24-hour emergency services. Also, they have a pharmacy on-site and a lot of state-of-the-art equipment. Many of the doctors are Chinese that have experience abroad.
There are literally hundreds of Chinese hospitals to choose from in Beijing, and for many minor healthcare issues most of them should be able to suit your needs just fine. That being said, some of these hospitals are more accustomed to treating expats and have even set up special departments or VIP sections to help foreign patients. Here are three of the best-known Chinese hospitals in Beijing.
1) Peking Union Medical College Hospital
Founded in 1921 by the Rockefeller Foundation, Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH) has been the leading Chinese hospital in Beijing for the last 90 years. The hospital was specially designated during the 2008 Olympics to service athletes, so you can expect that facilities meet international standards. PUMCH also has a special “International Medical Services” (IMS) department that is dedicated to foreign patients in Beijing and features a staff that speaks English.
2) China-Japan Friendship Hospital
Built with financial grants from the Japanese government, the China-Japan Friendship Hospital first opened its doors in 1984 and has been offering Beijingers quality service ever since. It is a full-service hospital equipped with the best equipment available. In 2003 it led Beijing’s fight against SARS and was also a designated hospital for the Olympics. Like PUMCH it has a special department to help Beijing’s expats.
3) Beijing Children’s Hospital
As part of the Capital Medical University, Beijing Children’s Hospital (BCH) has been in service since 1979. It offers modern facilities and has cooperation agreements with various children’s hospitals around the world. If you have a kid, this is probably the best Chinese hospital to bring them to.
Although a lot of expat websites offer info about medical services in Beijing, most of their information is incomplete. However, the following websites are pretty good resources:
This is a blog run buy Richard Saint Cyr, a medical doctor at BJU. It offers some excellent information about general health and living in Beijing. If you are an expat in Beijing then you need to bookmark this site!
This site was set up by the Beijing Municipal Heath Bureau to give foreign visitors an overview of the best Chinese hospitals and services that Beijing has to offer. It is also a useful health resource.
Although WebMD is not China specific, it is still an excellent medical website that can be useful no matter where you live.
Beijing United Family Hospital （北京和睦家医院）View In Map
Add: 2 Jiangtai Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 10 6433 3960, 10 6433 2345 (emergency hotline)
SOS International Beijing (北京国际SOS救援中心诊所)View In Map
Add: Suite 105, Wing 1, Kunsha Building, 16 Xinyuanli, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 10 6462 9112, 10 6462 9100 (alarm center)
Hong Kong Medical Clinic (北京港澳国际医务诊所)View In Map
Add: 9F, Office Tower, Hong Kong Macau Center-Swissôtel, 2 Chaoyangmen Bei Dajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区朝阳门北大街2号 港澳中心-瑞士酒店办公楼9层
Tel: 10 6553 2288 ext. 2345/2346
Beijing International Medical Center (北京国际医疗中心)View In Map
Add: S106, 1F, Lufthansa Center, 50 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 10 6465 1561/2/3, 10 6465 1384/94 (dental)
Peking Union Medical University Hospital（北京协和医院） View In Map
Add: 1 Shuaifuyuan, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Tel: 10 6529 6699, 10 6529 5284 (emergency)
China-Japan Friendship Hospital （卫生部中日友好医院）View In Map
Add: Yinghuayuan Dong Lu, Hepingli, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Tel: 10 6428 2297 or 10 8420 5122
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Keywords: hospitals in Beijing western medicine in Beijing medical services in Beijing medical service in Beijing best hospitals in Beijing
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Feb 08, 2012 23:47 Report Abuse