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Moving to China

Vox Populi

Category: Vox Populi

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During the seven years living in China, I had a number of times experienced the health care offered. Often friends of mine would bemoan the trust and quality of such care. From my view the quality of care in China was much the same as my home country, the U.S.A.  If I came down with anything causing a visit to the local clinic, they would take vitals and examine the symptoms, prescribe some medicine. Mostly the medicine would be an IV form but they did check for allergic reactions before giving.  So I always felt there was nothing to worry about. 

Looking around my hospital room  with other Chinese receiving the same treatment made me think that certainly if it was good enough for them, has to be the same for me.  The proof was in recovering from these ailments, which never failed to occur, usually within a couple of days.  After receiving the examinations and before giving any medications they will ask for payment.  These local clinic visits generally cost me ¥100 to ¥200.  In US terms this amounts to the same as a co-pay for a visit to the doctors there with similar symptoms, medicine being extra in the US.

When there came a situation two years ago that required an emergency visit to a hospital emergency room.  Family members drove me to Jilin Hospital.  Where in a flurry of activity, they put me in a wheelchair and with haste to the desk of one of the many doctors or interns that are on call there. A quick examination occurred and a transfer to a gurney.  At this time somebody had to go to make payment.  You'll always find every hospital has a number of ATM's available.  I was then given everything necessary and it seemed, shortly transferred to an operation room. 

There, three doctors and an intern were waiting and prepping.  The doctor told me I needed Coronary angioplasty on one artery.  I replied I agree and he repeated my reply back to me.  As if this was in some way giving my approval for the procedure to take place.  Afterwards I was taken to a room shared with two other patients where nurses started IV and monitors, took vitals and gave medicine.  Over the course of the next three weeks, a number of tests and examinations ensued.  Family members visited often and brought food every day.  Hospitals do not provide food as they would in a US hospital. This particular Hospital stay cost about ¥50,000.  After my release I would have to be taken back to the hospital another two separate times.  Once diagnosed for pneumonia.  The second diagnosed for congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema.  These subsequent stays were two weeks each and would cost an additional ¥30.000.  I should also add that for the most part there were some doctors and nurses who could speak enough English that enabled me to understand what was being done.  

Doctors during this time were reluctant to do further coronary procedures and encouraged me to return to the US to have more done.  This is the reason for my temporary departure from the “Choon”.  Since arriving back to the home country the same examinations and tests done in china have been repeated. With the same results.  I had given all the paper work of the tests and medicine prescribed in China (including a CD of the operation) to my US doctors.  Who reviewed it all and reconfirmed the diagnosis.  The medicine given in China is also the same except for brand names. 

I remain firm in my thoughts that the care given in China was necessary and correctly done.  The costs of the hospital would have been much higher in the US if I did not have insurance.  I have insurance to cover all my costs for my healthcare here in the US, unlike in China.  So the only real concern in China, you should have money to pay for those emergencies.  Or some kind of insurance if it's available.

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