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  • What Expats Can Expect From Chinese Healthcare

    Post by : expatree

Thanks to its increased efforts in progressing its healthcare system, China has reportedly slowed the spread of the coronavirus. But what exactly does China’s healthcare system entail for expats? This is a question that many new expats face as they try to get more comfortable with their life in China. To answer that question, we need to take a broader look at China’s healthcare system at large in order to hone in on the course of action that’s right for you.

Chinese Healthcare: A Brief Overview
As with most of the world, Chinese healthcare is provided through public hospitals as well as private, with some hospitals possessing dedicated wings for international patients. Additionally, there are hospitals whose primary purpose is to cater to international patients. Given that China encompasses a vast land area and multiple subcultures, both cost and quality of healthcare differ substantially between regions, and sometimes even between adjacent cities.

Most international hospitals in China are private. Such hospitals have significantly higher costs than their public counterparts, but are better equipped to take care of expat patients, and can even accept foreign health insurance. Because of this, most expats prefer to go to private hospitals for their healthcare needs. However, there’s still a minority who opt for public facilities for their healthcare.

Public Healthcare vs. Private Healthcare
Public healthcare in China varies wildly in terms of quality. If you choose to go to public hospitals, the most reliable options are located in urban centers. Such institutions provide a diverse set of medical services that rural hospitals are seldom equipped for. By and large, however, public hospitals are usually not advisable for expats, given that they often do not comply with western healthcare standards. If you must go to public hospitals, be sure to seek out those that have international wings, as they often have the most cost-effective health solutions for expats, and often have shorter queues to boot.

As for private healthcare, standards are much higher and have become more aligned with western standards in the recent years. However, they charge nearly double the rates that public hospitals do. Still, private healthcare institutions stand as the best option for expats, given their professionalism and quality of service. Additionally, private hospitals often cater to more niche markets, such as cosmetic services like dermatology and anti-aging solutions. Such niche services can be good supporting measures if you also want advice on anti-aging products like skin creams and cosmetic treatments.

How Expats Can Best Make Use Of Chinese Healthcare
Expats with China-based employers are usually provided with Chinese healthcare, making them compatible with all hospitals that accept that insurance provider. Even if your employer is not based in China, however, getting a Chinese insurance plan is the most prudent course of action, as it makes you far more likely to get the care you need in the case of serious injury. For those who are involved in a more hazardous line of work, investing in medivac insurance is also a good way to go.

As for the question of public vs private, generally, private institutions are the way to go if you desire higher-quality healthcare and have a non-local insurance provider. However, an important thing to remember is that the state-provided insurance plan, usually issued to government workers, only honors claimants that have sought treatment in public hospitals. So, as a rule of thumb, it’s best to go to a public hospital if you have a state insurance plan, and private if you have anything else.
Katlyn Hope
for Expatree
Date:2020-03-19 16:37:34
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