Healthcare in Beijing



The national government, through its capital, Beijing, has determined its major objectives for the current healthcare reforms and that is to provide equitable, affordable, yet high-quality patient care. With the economic upsurge experienced by the city today, attaining this objective will hardly be a problem. 

Relocating to Beijing is indeed an exciting and overwhelming experience since it is considered as one of China’s top-tier cities. As more and more expatriates from all over the world go to this Oriental capital, the need for quality health care also continues to grow. The government of China formally introduced a national health insurance plan on October 15, 2011, that aimed at providing coverage for all foreign employees but to this day, public healthcare is still considered inefficient in terms of meeting the needs of the growing international community. 

The Importance of Health Insurance 

Having adequate health insurance is must for all expatriates moving to Beijing. As mentioned earlier, despite the presence of the national public healthcare scheme, many locals bound to this city are still strongly advised to ask their employers if they are covered by any medical plan or to take out some type of international health insurance

Also, having private insurance will allow you to go to private hospitals where the quality of equipment and treatments are almost on par with Western Standards. Many locals in Beijing also opt to go to these private medical facilities because of the short waiting list and presence of English speaking doctors. 

Visiting a Doctor 

It is not a secret that locals in Beijing would prefer to see a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor, who skilfully practices acupuncture, acupressure and herbal medicines to treat their patients instead of hospital doctors. But many have embraced modern science and the development of hospitals in the city. In Beijing, as is also normal in some other parts of Asia, anyone can visit the physician's clinic as a walk-in patient whenever they feel the need to without having a pre-set scheduled appointment. The average doctor's consultation fee for the unscheduled meeting is about 200-300 RMB. 

Hospitals in Beijing 

In Beijing, there are various types of hospitals, with those being privately run by foreign institutions or organisations typically the most expensive yet reliable ones. These hospitals are equipped with the latest medical facilities and highly competent international medical staff. One thing people appreciate about private institutions is convenience in terms of the time it takes for a patient to be actually seen by a doctor. 

Another reason why people favour private institutions is their acceptance of international medical insurance, as opposed to public hospitals which do not recognise any international insurance policy. Due to the increased populations and public awareness on health, there has been a greater demand for ample international insurance coverage. However, public hospitals have so far been passive about such demand. These government-run institutions also do not honour appointments and have very long waiting lines. Some of the top hospitals in Beijing are: 

50 Liangmaqiao Rd, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi

Tel: +86 10 6462 2079 

2 Jiangtai Rd, Chaoyang Qu, Beijing Shi

Tel: +86 10 5927 7000 

2 Chaoyangmen N St, Dongcheng Qu

Tel:  +86 10 6553 2288 

Linyin Rd, Shunyi Qu, Beijing Shi

Tel: +86 010-64562599 

12 Tiantan Nanli, Dongcheng Qu, Beijing Shi

Tel: +86 10 6703 5566 

Emergency Services 

Quick and accessible emergency care is another strong asset of Beijing's healthcare system. Wherever the emergency occurs in China, people can call 120 to receive emergency medical assistance. Usually, an ambulance arrives in the site of emergency about 30 - 60 minutes from the time the call. Hospitals, whether private or public, are also obliged by law to accept all emergency cases regardless of whether or not the patient or relatives of the patient have paid a deposit. 

One issue expatriates face when making emergency calls is the language barrier. There is a tendency for an ambulance driver to set out to supposedly respond to an emergency call, except that he does not know exactly where to go or what address to find. It is, thus, recommended that somebody who speaks fluent Chinese be made to make the call to the emergency service to ensure that instructions are noted down and followed by the operator to the letter.


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Healthcare in China