I am feeling terrible today. I got cold yesterday. Today, I felt weak. The temperature of Shanghai changed dramatically these days. It will get colder in the next few days with lowest temperature from 4°C, 0°C, -1°C, to -3°C of next Monday. So my buddies, if you are also in Shanghai, take care and keep warm! Cold or flu in China is not so serious as in U.S. In U.S., flu kills. In China, it is the less impacting illness.
I had three caplets of Tylenol Cold in the last 18 hours already. I hope it will help relief of cold symptoms. When I was in U.S., I was so cautious not to get cold since I had no idea about how hospitals work there. I guess many foreigners do the same in China.
Go to Drug Store for Cure
The easiest way to get medicine in China is go to the drugs store. There are OTC icons on these medicines that you don’t need a doctor’s Rx to buy them. It is definitely the cheapest way to fight against normal diseases if you know which medicine works for you.
Hospital? Oh. No. Thanks. I avoid going to hospital as much as possible. I believe there are problems with the current health care system. The hospitals rely on the medicine reselling as an important revenue source, so the doctors tend to give Rx and ask patients to get the most expensive medicine. They even give more than needed.
Whenever I go to hospital for fever or cold, it is guaranteed that I got the bill of 120 – 200 RMB for normal cold. Before they talk with you, the doctors will ask for blood check first. It is expensive. They gave many types of medicines that serve for more than three days. Do they really think only the combination of all those expensive medicines and three or more days can cure me?
Wendy Does Not Believe in Hospital
Wendy got cold in last October, went to hospital for many times and got injection for two days. One month later, she is just getting worse and worse. She recorded the experience on her blog (First several days, one week later, the worst day). During her illness, I was in Guangzhou. I wrote “Wendy has been ill for some days. She caught cold and didn’t show any sign of recover after the injection. I hope the statues bring some good luck to her. I have my finger crossed for her recovery soon.”
Finally, about one month later, we didn’t believe in those doctors in hospitals any more. We went to a small drug store and asked for more medicines they suggested. The apothecary said: “The medicine is not useful at all. Listen, your lungs have been infected already. Take these.” We didn’t believe in her either, but we finally paid for the cheaper medicine. Two days later, Wendy recovered fully. Later, when we got ill, we’d like to go to the small drug store first.
The Medical Insurance
The good thing is, I can use my Medical Insurance Card 医保卡to pay the bill. It works like a credit card. The difference is, I don’t have to deposit to it. The insurance does. It is the SOCIAL medicine insurance. Meanwhile, with the receipt, I can also reimburse the money from the commercial insurance company.
For those who don’t have either of the insurance, they are in big trouble. In Zhan’s case, he wasn’t able to raise the enough fund to liver transplant, and his insurance didn’t cover that. Wendy and I bought additional commerical insurance before to cover these high-cost diseases. The percentage of people who buy those insurances like us is small but rising these years.