Visiting a doctor in Shanghai



Foreigners cannot receive funds from the government’s pension system in China. It is advisable to continue contributing to the social security system in your home country and/or take out a good health, life, or retirement insurance policy in your home country.  

State hospitals give free emergency treatment. However, it is recommended for expatriates to have private health insurance and use the doctors and facilities of the excellent private hospitals with English speaking staff and doctors who have trained overseas.

In smaller cities in China, there may not be a clinic with English speaking staff. In such situations, it is necessary to travel to the nearest large city such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, etc.

If you have private health insurance, you can go to any doctor or dentist. Many facilities have direct billing relationships with the major insurance providers thereby relieving the patient of dealing with paperwork and up-front payments. There is no concept of having “the family doctor”, although you can request to see the same doctor each visit with a prior appointment.

Medical treatment

Doctors in Shanghai are highly skilled and a graduate of some of the most prominent medical schools in China. They are required to go through several years of residency before acquiring a license to practice. However, it is common for local doctors to provide simple or generic instructions such as avoid drinking and smoking or continue a healthy lifestyle. Expats from western countries might find this unusual and think that they are receiving insufficient attention. One reason behind it is that Chinese doctors often have a long queue of patients that’s why they tend to rush and just provide general health care advice. 

Shanghai has both public and private hospitals. Some state-funded medical facilities even have VIP wards for expats or well off locals where they benefit from short wait list as well as English-speaking doctors and nurses. There are also other hospitals that provide quality service and here are some of them: 

888 Tianlin Road, Building 1 East, Shanghai

Tel. No.: (021) 6485 7333 

Corner of South Pudong Road and Pudong Avenue

Tel. No.: (021) 5879 9999 

51 Hongfeng Rd, Pudong, Shanghai

Tel.No.: (021) 6445 5999 

1788 NanJing West Road, Jing An District, Shanghai 200040

Tel. No.: (021) 6877 5093