When living in China, it's important to know how the health care process works. Hopefully you'll never be in a situation where you need to go to the hospital (except for general medical checks), but knowing how a hospital works in China will help your health process run more smoothly.
In Chinese hospitals, all your fees are paid up front, including fees for diagnosis, any treatments for surgical procedures that may follow, as well as prescriptions. Patients are generally seen on a walk-in basis and queue up to await their turn, but a growing number of facilities accept appointments. Before making an appointment or going to the hospital, you must first determine which department you need.
The major departments include: Internal medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, and Gynecology. If you are unsure which department will treat you, you can ask at the information desk.
Note: there are two different kinds of tickets for hospital queues: Specialist and general practitioner tickets. General practitioners can often be seen the same day while consultations with specialists may need to be booked in advance.
Booking an appointment is a straightforward process, but you might need a friend to help, even if a hospital offers online booking. When you arrive at the hospital, check in at the front desk and pay any diagnosis fees. After this, go to the specific department to see the doctor, who will see you at, or near, your appointed time. There may be a delay from your scheduled time, but you must be present when they call your name or they will bypass you in the queue.
The procedure for walk-in patients is quite similar. First, you will need to get a ticket number from the ticket window (挂号处). The ticket will be passed on the department you require, so you should have the information prepared beforehand.
Once you have your ticket, find the appropriate department and take your place in the queue. If there are no other patients waiting, you will see the doctor immediately.
For insurance claim purposes, please ensure your full name exactly matches your passport.
After seeing the doctor, you are given payment slips for any medicine, tests, or other procedures you may need. Take this to a payment window （收费处）before going on for the procedure. They will take one copy of each for their records, and other copy will be stamped as proof of payment when you go for your procedure.
Diagnosis tests are generally administered in a different area of the hospital, or on a different floor, and it may take anywhere from a few hours to days for the results.
After collecting your results, you can go back to the doctor for your diagnosis.
Insurance policies in China request that you pay for your medical procedures first and get reimbursed later. Of course, your school will help you with the process of insurance claims. Just remember to keep all your receipts and give it to your school, so you can request reimbursement from your insurance company.
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