I went to Children’s Hospital on the Fenglin Road. Yifan’s ass looks red – should be very typical problem for children like his age, so we went to the Children’s Hospital today. The last time, I lined there for 3 hours to get a small cup of medicine – that worked very well. The medicine itself was 2 RMB, or 30 US cents, but it cost me almost the whole after.
The other day on the YLF dinner, Yong complained about the high pressure he had – waited in the Children Hospital for three hours for just some very small problems. I guess I was going to go through the same thing.
Many Many Many People
As always, there are so many people in the hospital – lines after lines of people. The hall way was complete jammed so people cannot move. It looks like exactly a refugee camp. It is not that terrible, but the nature of the children hospital does give me that impression. Children are crying, and mothers and fathers are shouting, and people pushing each other for their ways.
Time Worth Nothing in This Hospital
- At the registration counter, there are 4 lines with 30+ people each – half an hour for get a ticket.
- Waited in the line for a long time after get a ticket.
- 2 minutes to see the doctor.
- Waited in the line to pay money – 40 minutes.
- Waited in another line in the other floor – 20 minutes.
We arrived in the early morning, and when we finished everything (including the real 2 minutes payload time), it is lunch time.
When we are leaving the hospital, there are not as many people as the time we went in. I said to Wendy:
"Finally, I am able to see the color of the floor". That is very true. It is the first time I am able to see the floor when the crowd went back for lunch.
P.S. The other very interesting thing. They medicine the doctor prescripted for me worth 27 RMB (that I spent more than 1 hour to get), but they also prescript another two medicine that the doctor told me that it can only be bought outside the hospital in a private drug store. That two cost 147 RMB. I gave the prescript to the store, and they kept it. I am sure they will do some revenue share with the doctor.
P.S. 2. Too expensive and too hard for health care is a very big problem now. With the increase in GDP, and CPI, the common wealth didn’t increase proportionally.
I am always amazed at the amount of medicine that is prescribed here in China… antibiotics even for mild colds.
One of the strangest treatment to me seems to be for people with fever… they go to a hospital and have drip inserted for several hours…
Normally we would just go to a pharmacist, get some paracetamol – if the fever didnt go within 24~48 hours, then we might see a doctor.
I can understand your frustration about the long wait. But on a plus side, I think it’s easier for patient to see a doctor in China. Here in the states I guess in your son’s case you will have to go to emergency room, which means a long wait line, and the cost is high too (although usually paid by insurance).
Seems like there is opportunity for premium services. Can you pay people to stand in line for you with a mobile phone to SMS status to you while you sit somewhere nearby comforting Yifan? Hope his butt is feeling better (“butt” is slightly more polite than “ass” :)
I think the problem that you are facing is partially the inefficiency of the system. But I think the primary reason is simply there are just too many people in Shanghai. There are lines like these everywhere, the banks, post office and any other services that serves the general public.
To me as an expatriate, that this the one of two aspects of China that I am already tired of and eventually drive me back to the west where I am from. The first is the struggle to get day to day things done because of the amount of people that reside here and the other is the chronic pollution problem.
@all, I would say there are two problems.
For the health care situation, to be fair, it is obviously better than many years ago. That is the progress.
However, the progress it not as fast as the demand for health care.
The hospital offers better service for foreigners. They have a “foreigner service” in the same hospital. Despite of the name, anyone can pay 300 RMB for that one, and according to Haisong, it is very good. The problem is, this does not solve the problem for most people waiting in the line.
@STLPlace, there are social insurance, but it is not very helpful. Even for such a small case of my son, the social insurance covers 21 RMB out of the total 170 RMB I paid – about 10%. For big diseases, no one can rely on social insurance. That is the reason Wendy and I bought commercial insurance. Also, commercial insurances seem more reliable to me, although most of people around me think the government is not most reliable thing in this whole world.
JS, why do you need a prescription for a diaper rash? Do they sell over the counter diaper rash cream? Anyway,I use to just use a little Vasline with each diaper change as a preventive measure, and it seem to work well. I mean he still got red once in a while if he had diarea, but never so bad.
@JL, the diaper rash cream worked well before, but this time, it seems more serious than diaper rash. That is the reason.
I hope Yifan gets well soon. I know the feeling; we had to take our daughter to doctor several times for the same problem (was some infections) until we found what medicines would work to prevent the infections. Things get easier in a year or two when they are potty-trained.
The hospitals here are not as crowded, but can still be slow. This summer I cut two of my fingers to the bone with my hedge trimmers (it cut right through my leather gloves). I went to emergency, and was bleeding all over their floor, but they told me it would be a one-hour wait anyway. They would not give me any bandages or anything to dress it, so I had to use towels from their bathroom. I decided to go home and use my own first-aid kit, since they wouldn’t help me — and when I was leaving they asked me to sign a release form saying I would not sue them. I told them some very unpleasant curse words and just left without signing their stupid form, and dressed the wounds myself.
Doctors are like police — they might save your life if you are desperate, but otherwise they can mess up your life really bad. I try to stay as far away as possible from both.
“……Doctors are like police — they might save your life if you are desperate, but otherwise they can mess up your life really bad. I try to stay as far away as possible from both.” —- I hope this is just a piece of horrible news that gone far far away!
BTW, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.