Never Been in a Chinese Hospital? Read on to Find Out their True Charm….

Never Been in a Chinese Hospital? Read on to Find Out their True Charm….
darkstar1 Mar 26, 2013 16:37


We all worry about the day when our bodies finally give up on us and we have to reluctantly haul ourselves from the comfort of the toilet bowl to the nearby hospital. I’ve been in China for a while now and I must say aside from a couple of instances of food poisonings, I’ve been pretty lucky so far…well that was until last week.

I’m a vegetarian, which I believe grants me a slightly healthier diet compared to those who are brave enough to indulge in the wonderful world of Chinese meat. However my weakness is a combined fondness of spicy food and of course beer, which eventually caught up with me last week, leaving me with a painful inflamed intestine and a subsequent trip to the hospital.

From what I gather, all of China’s hospitals are all privatized with little or no help from the local government, and try to make as much money as they can. This was evident during my first trip to a Chinese hospital when I escorted a friend back and forth various wards. Despite clearly needed medical attention, we were told to go to various different checkouts to register, pay fees and get cards before we could finally see a doctor. When we finally finished we were sat in a waiting room that was full of patients with rolls of bloody tissues and empty syringes on the floor (sounds more like a drug den than a hospital I know.) I swore that day that I would never revisit a Chinese hospital, though my unlucky day finally came it seemed.

Once I had completed the standard bureaucratic processes of filling out forms, I was ready to see the today. Now my medical Chinese is by no means extensive, though I took the time to pre-learn the word for intestine (肠子) prior to arriving at the hospital. I told the doctor – “my intestine hurts! What medicine?” After puffing away on a few cigarettes (I kept my mouth shut regarding the irony of it), the doctor propose to take a few expensive-sounding tests (including a colonoscopy…no thanks) which I was given the chance to think about. After the doctor stated my condition “wasn’t serious” I jumped with joy and simply bought the prescription medicine he gave me, though given their anti-biotical status it meant I would have to lay off the beer and spicy food for a while.   

After consuming the pills I was given the pain eventually went away, though looking back at the whole experience (the hospital I visited was no cleaner or less chaotic than the one I visited with my friend) I can safely say I don’t want to see myself in that situation again, and will happily fork out the cash for a flight home if something serious comes up again. For any of you readers who happen to be British – count yourself lucky that we have free, clean health service in the NHS (although the waiting isn’t great), and remember to Daily Mail readers in the face next time they complain about the state of the health service. Sometimes we really don’t know how lucky we are.


Tags:Expat Tales Expat Rants & Advice Health & Environment


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Recenlty I had to spend several days in the Nanning Peoples Hospital and I must say that the service and the treatment was excellent. Very professional and the nurses were very pleasing on the eye. Also, in 2005 I had to stay at the Guilin Peoples hospital to have my appendics removed and I must say the treatment was also excellent. For me the peoples hospital gave tremendous service. The Philippine hospitals are quite the reverse even though they have received a lot of american influence.

Apr 07, 2013 10:58 Report Abuse


Ummm...So what pills did you take? I got the same problem and have been to the hospital way too many times with no luck. ...hahaha...missing the USA sometimes....

Mar 31, 2013 19:16 Report Abuse


Hey TKA, I really don't know what pills they were though I think they're available in most pharmacies at a reasonable price. If you just say to the pharmacist 我的肠子不舒服 (wo de changzi bu shufu) they might know what to do.

Apr 01, 2013 08:45 Report Abuse