Healthcare In China

Here at China Expat Health Insurance we know just how important it is to understand every aspect of your health insurance policy and how it can help you with your healthcare while you are in China. However, you also need to understand how the healthcare system in China works. This includes understanding the various system of healthcare and medications that are available as well as the possible health issues that could affect you while you are there.

China Healthcare System

For expats and foreign nationals the healthcare system in China can be something of a minefield. More and more healthcare facilities in the country are now being privatized and there is also a confusing ratings system in place, so working out where best to go for treatment can be difficult. However, we have a good knowledge of the system and we can help you to figure out where you can get the best quality healthcare.

There is a classification system for hospitals in China of three levels. A hospital on level 3 will offer the best quality healthcare. Level 1 hospitals offer the worst level of healthcare. In addition, each of these levels is divided into three, marked A, B or C. A offers the highest level of care and C is the lowest, so a hospital in level 3 can be 3A, 3B or 3C. Occasionally a hospital could be categorized as 3A+, the highest level of care you can find.

However, you do need to be aware that hospitals that have the high classifications also have the high prices. Prior to the 1980s healthcare costs in China were relatively low as the hospitals were run by the government. Since then the major cities have developed a free market economy and costs have been rising ever since. Most of the Class 3 hospitals are now owned by private companies that have raised the cost of treatment so that it is now on a par with that offered by hospitals in the west.

Government run hospitals would offer doctors lifelong contracts but reforms that have taken place recently means that there is a level of job insecurity in the healthcare sector that has not been there before. It means that you can be sure that those doctors that are working in Class 3 facilities are highly qualified and experienced and have worked hard to obtain and keep their position, so good quality healthcare is guaranteed.

There were 306,000 hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities in China in 2002. Around 63,000 of these were hospitals and more than 200,000 were nursing homes. China has an aging population so more nursing homes than hospitals are needed. Just 1% of hospitals in 2002 were non-profit organizations.

For guidance on how to find your way around the Chinese medical system, or for advice on where to go for treatment, talk to a member of our team. We can tell you which hospitals will accept direct payments from your insurer. Or if you just want to talk a little more about choosing an international medical health plan, contact us today.