What if you get (seriously) sick in Shanghai?

Moderator: savanb

What if you get (seriously) sick in Shanghai?

Postby long_way » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:48 pm

If you get REALLY sick then you will have to go to the hospital I guess. That is exactly what happened to me in early January of 2008. I bought some chicken at Carrefour supermarket in Pudong area of Shanghai and made a soup. That soup was pure poison - the next four days I was not able to eat absolutely nothing, and the water I drank did not stay in my stomach for more than 5 minutes either.

Anyways, the fourth day I was ready to go to the hospital (my friend was trying to persuade me to go to the nearby hospital, just across the street, from the first day but I was resisting because nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea were relentless but I did not feel well enough to leave my apartment). I'm not sure if the salmonellae was the culprit but it was horrible. I took a couple of Imodium Advanced pills but apparently it only made things worse (because I was supposed to take antibiotics instead).

Just for your information, prolonged severe diarrhea can kill you or severely damage your health so you better go to see the doctor as soon as you can.

So here is the rest of the story; I wanted to go to the the "First People's Hospital" because I knew that they spoke English (and I was not sure if they would ask me to stay at the hospital for some time).

Here is the hospital address:

International Medical Care Center Shanghai Jiaotong University Affiliated First People's Hospital (IMCG)
医院北部地址:武进路85号 邮编:200080 电话总机:021-63240090
24-hour emergency, inpatient, outpatient and home-visit services
Address: 585 Jiulong Lu (九龙路585号)
24-hour Emergency Call: 6324 3852/6324 0090-2101
Administrative Office: 6306 9480 (Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm)
Fax: 6306 9484
Web site: http://www.firsthospital.cn/1-1.htm
Buses: 13, 63,921,17, 910, 6, 61, 55, 14, 147, 123, 100, 576, 21, 22, 145

I was staying in Pudong, my friend and her parents took taxi and after around 30min arrived at the hospital. First we missed the entrance, the entrance for the foreigners is from the back lane (small street).

We approached the reception desk, they spoke good English and told us that we would not wait more than 10-15 minutes. That was true. The doctor, a Chinese lady in her late thirties or early forties asked what was my complaint, I described the symptoms, she used her stethoscope and gave a listen to my stomach and concluded I had an acute gastro-something... She said I will have to take antibiotics and she will also prescribe some IV antibiotics and some other liquid to replenish lost liquids... She said I would stay at the hospital for several hours.

After that I went to the cashier and paid the deposit of Y1500 but I could use my VISA credit card. They said they would issue doctor's letter and a receipt for the Insurance company (I told them that I had a travel insurance policy). After I paid the deposit the nurse took me upstairs to the 4th floor (I think) and put me in a room with 2 beds but there was no one else in the room. She gave me the slippers and pajama. She also explained how to use hospital telephone set (one needs to dial zero before the number to call outside of the hospital numbers). Maybe 5-10 minutes after that another nurse came by and stuck a needle in my vein and hooked up the tube with antibiotic first.

2-3 hours later, after two bags with antibiotic and some other liquid were empty the first nurse came again and escorted me out of the room. The doctor showed up again and just glanced at the blood test results. They gave me they gave me one box of antibiotics and another box of anti-diarrhea medication and we proceeded downstairs to the main floor where I got the receipt and the doctors letter. Also at the cashier's window I got change (Y463.68) and I was ready to go back home.

Overall I can say that the hospital looked very modern, clean, well run, probably much better than many western hospitals. The staff were helpful, friendly, they spoke English and their service was professional.

If you go to a regular Chinese hospital you will pay Y10 to see the doctor but chances are you will wait over 3 hours and also chances are the doctor won't speak English. At this hospital the wait is 10 minutes but you pay Y100 to see the doctor and the staff speak English.

One more thing I want to mention: If you have travel insurance policy (and you should have one when traveling) then you will be expected to call the number which is clearly printed on your insurance policy and notify them that you are in the hospital. Of course if you are so sick that you can not do that then no one will hold it against you if you don't call.

I was able to call so I did (while I was receiving IV medications). However I never called call-collect before so that was a new experience for me. First I want to recommend that you WRITE DOWN CHINA CALL-COLLECT NUMBER ON YOUR INSURANCE POLICY or put it in your wallet etc because it's not written in most travel guide books and when my friend called the operator, and then information number, and after that long-distance assistance number NONE OF THEN KNEW WHAT CALL-COLLECT NUMBER WAS!!! The number does exist, it's 108 so here is how I dialed it: I was supposed to call a Canadian number (604-409-4487 which is CANASSISTANCE emergency phone number. I guess all Canadians are supposed to call that number in case of emergency when they travel (I had my travel insurance with the Pacific Blue Cross). Country code for Canada is 1.

So, I dialed "0" first because it's the hospital telephone, to get the outside line, then I dialed "108" for call-collect, then "00" which is international access code in China, after that "1" for Canada, then 604-409-4487. So, I thought I would get CANASSIST person on the line, instead I had to speak with the SPRINT operator who asked me which number I wanted to call (collect), then I gave him CANASSIST number (which I already diealed) he conected me with CANASSIST staff and finally I spent at least 30 minutes answering the questions asked by the CANASSIST employee.

This is the number I dialed again: 0-108-00-1-604-409-4487. The hospital did not charge anything for the call.

When I returned home the Blue Cross already mailed the forms to me, I filled them out (there were 3-4 different forms) included doctor's letter and the receipt and got reimbursed for the hospital cost (cheque arrived approximately 2 weeks after I mailed out the claim documents).

Now here is the whole story again but this time in pictures:

Hospital brochure:

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg18 ... lier_2.jpg

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg18 ... lier_3.jpg

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg18 ... _flier.jpg

You can print hospital address and directions:

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg18 ... ddress.jpg

Hospital Address written on the hospital card:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2176/225 ... 0afe_o.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2023/225 ... 1d32_b.jpg

Entrance to the hospital:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2217/225 ... fb9c_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2150/225 ... 0f78_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2109/225 ... f9a8_b.jpg

Main reception desk:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2305/225 ... e23d_b.jpg

Cashier window:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2419/225 ... fef8_b.jpg

Examination room:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2087/225 ... 291a_b.jpg

Price list:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2018/225 ... 833c_b.jpg

Hospital room:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2364/225 ... e95d_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2339/225 ... 073b_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2092/225 ... 1cf0_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2030/225 ... 49f3_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2226/225 ... 5a7a_b.jpg

Hallway on the 4th floor:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2087/225 ... d69a_b.jpg

Medication I got:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2113/225 ... 1c3a_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2232/225 ... 8b12_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2141/225 ... a7c2_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2395/225 ... 4161_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2221/225 ... 79f5_b.jpg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2115/225 ... 582c_b.jpg

Doctor's letter and receipt:

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg18 ... letter.jpg

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg18 ... eceipt.jpg

Reimbursement cheque sent by the Blue Cross:

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg18 ... ss_chq.jpg
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