Hospital in Shanghai

I just want to update my readers why I paused blog in the last three days. I was in hospital to take care of my mother-in-law. She had a heart surgery last Thursday. Thank God (and whomever I can think of), the operation was a huge success. Now she is recovering very well in the Zhongshan Hospital. Wendy and I am very happy. :-)

In the hospital, I just realize how serious the medical insurance problem this country is facing. There are people who gave up the surgery just because they cannot afford the bed fee in the hospital. There are also people who are completely in debt for the surgery in the same patient room. Have a big disease means bankrupt for many people in China.

16 thoughts on “Hospital in Shanghai

  1. So glad to hear that all is well! I will keep your whole family in my thoughts and am wishing her a speedy and comfortable recovery!!

  2. I hope your mother in law recovers quickly. But it is good for you to have experienced China’s dire health care circumstances first hand. Phony and medicine, poor public health and corrupt and incompetent doctors and hospital administration are all contributing to an increasingly sick society..

  3. @RC, @9527, @Carroll, thanks a lot. The surgery went on very well. We are very happy.

    @dezza, exactly. I saw a lot of things. The hospital we went to should be one of the best in this city. I can imagine the others.

  4. I’m in Beijing. I just went a Level 3-A(三级甲等)hospital this morning, which is the highest level in china like Zhongshan Hospital.

    It cost me 2 hours and 246 yuan for 5 minutes consultation. There is 236 yuan for medicine, 5 yuan for consultating fee and 5 yuan for card deposit.

    I can see some people there just go consultating but not fetching any medicine. Just take some suggestion from doctor!

    I guess they must have no medical insurance. It’s really a expanse for them, having poor wage, not any insurance in the bottom of society

  5. Hi Jian Shuo,

    Glad to hear that your mother-in-law is recovering well. I pray that she’ll recover fully and that meanwhile, she’ll be given the proper attention and medicine by the hospital as required. Take care and God bless.

  6. I’d like to recommend “Sicko”, a movie by Michel Moore. Americans are comlaining about their healthcare system, they won’t be compaining if they’ve experienced what kind of system we are in.

    China’s health care system is both privatised government controlled, it lacks the benefits but has problems from both systems.

  7. I am a university student,a while ago,I had a Tonsil inflammation and had injecting for five days,it cost me 1,200 RMB in total.That’s terrible

  8. If you’re insured through your employer, do you get your hospital bills fully reimbursed? I’ve heard that employees at Siemens in Shanghai get everything reimbursed if they have fever and go to a hospital to get some drips (you know what I mean, the standard procedure in China).

    Is there a limit to what you get reimbursed?

    Does the insurance require co-insurance/franchise from you?

  9. NOW Being ill is very terrible ,that means much money will be cost ,so we must do exercise every day to protect us from sick!

    Have everything except illness.

  10. One of the biggest problems facing patients and hospitals in China is overcrowding. Many of the large tier three hospitals operate at near capacity (100% Bed Occupancy Rates). This is largely due to the long length of stays in hospital. Currently, the average length of stay (ALOS) reported by the Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau is 18.64 days per patient admission.

    “This is the highest ALOS in the world.”

    While many people believe this is due to “Chinese culture” or inefficient hospital practice, there is a much more surprising reason.

    Hanover Associates, Ltd is China’s leading International Healthcare Consulting firm. Hanover’s consultants toured tier-three hospital in Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin during September and October (2008) to examine the ALOS crisis. The findings were remarkable.

    According to Hanover, the main cause of long lengths of stay in acute care hospitals were elderly patients, above the age of 75-years-old, using the hospital like a long-term-care facility or “Nursing Home”. Hanover saw patients who stayed in acute care hospitals for more than one year. One patient had been in an acute hospital for nearly 3 years. When interviewed, she said that she liked it there and her children (living in California) wanted her to get the best care.

    With room rates of RMB300 per night, an elderly “nursing home” patient in need of 24/7 nursing care (but not Acute Hospital care) can live in Hospital for RMB 9,000 per month. There will be additional charges, by the way. The average “nursing home” patient living in Hospital’s paid RMB 17,000 per month. In Beijing alone, Hanover Estimates, 12,000 patients in need of skilled long-term-care “Nursing Home care” are living in Hospitals.

    Hanover surveyed 100 doctors in Beijing regarding the long-term-care elderly. 97% said they agreed that senior care / secondary care was more appropriate for these patients than Acute care hospitals. 92% said that they would and could refer elderly patients to a proper nursing home if such a facility were available in Beijing. According to the 2008 survey, the average number of referrals per year per doctor would be 9 elderly paitents.

    After reviewing the result of these findings, Hanover’s CEO, Tucson Dunn, announced in November 2008, his plans to assist land owners, property developers, in Beijing and Shanghai to develop Nursing Homes.

    “Nursing Homes are skilled nursing facilities, not retirement homes for healthy elderly people. The facilities provide therapy, medical attention, medication, clinical care for long-term patients, on par with USA.” said Dunn.

    “We will offer consulting services and management services for these new facilities. We have just employed a top Nursing Home operator from USA with experience in managing 200 senior care facilities. We intend to continue to bring senior care expertise into China and to train local management teams” said Dunn.

    Hanover, expanded their study to review Chinese nursing home patients in USA. They found that there were currently 100,000 Chinese elderly staying in Nursing Homes in USA, paying approx. $6,500 per month. Hanover surveyed 200 patients and family members to determine if they would be interested in returning to Beijing or Shangai for long-term care if the monthly costs were at least half. 38% of those surveyed reported they would move back to China if the quality of the facility and care were on par or better than what they enjoyed in USA. Many Chinese American elderly Nursing Home patients complained about their stay in the American facilities. The main complaints were: language issues, cultural issues, food and lack of Chinese friends. Another interesting finding in the USA senior care market was the fact that 82% of all nursing home residents are referred to the nursing homes by doctors.

    Hanover has developed partnerships with several large foreign healthcare funds to support the financing and development of Nursing Homes in China.

    For more information, please contact; Mr. Gavin Green, Senior Consultant, Hanover Associate, Lt., email: or

    Tucson Dunn, CEO Hanover Associates, Ltd. email

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