Maomi Chinese Podcast Episode 151 See a doctor mandarin

#151 How to see a doctor in China? 在中国怎么看病?

大家好!欢迎回来MaoMi Chinese!








Hello everyone! Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!

A listener asked me if I could talk about what it's like to see a doctor in China. I think this is a great question because I can share with you some useful words and phrases, and also talk about how seeing a doctor in China is different from other countries.

If you get sick in China and need to see a doctor, what can you do? It's very simple, you can go straight to the hospital. Once you arrive at the hospital, you need to register. To register means to get a number at the hospital, and then you wait for your number to be called. When your number is called, you can go see the doctor. When registering, you need to tell the receptionist where you feel uncomfortable and which department you want to register for. In many hospitals, there is a fee for registration, but it's usually very little, maybe just one or two yuan. In many big cities, people can also register using their mobile phone, which is very convenient.

After hearing your number, you can go into the doctor's room. If you have a medical history, it's best to bring it with you, as it helps the doctor know your medical history. If not, the doctor will give you a new medical record. The doctor will ask where you feel uncomfortable and may ask you to undergo some tests, such as blood tests, X-rays, CT scans, etc.

After seeing the doctor, they will give you a prescription. You may need to get an injection or take medication. You need to take the prescription given by the doctor to pay for the medication or for the injection. You can't pay the doctor directly; you have to go to the cashier. The cashier is where you pay in the hospital.

Sometimes, the doctor might also tell you to come back to the hospital for
a follow-up visit tomorrow, in a week, or in a month. Remember to listen to the doctor and return to the hospital for a follow-up!

So, how about it? Now you know how to see a doctor in China, right? How is seeing a doctor in China different from other countries? We can talk about the differences between China, the UK, and the USA. First, in the UK, you generally need to see a GP first, and you go to the hospital only if it's very serious. But in China, even for something like a cold, people can go to the hospital to see a doctor. Second, in the UK and the US, you need to make an appointment to see a doctor, which might take a day or two, a week, or even a month, unless it's only emergency where you can see a doctor immediately. In China, people can go directly to the hospital to register and see a doctor. Third, because people can register immediately, hospitals in China are often very crowded and noisy. Hospitals in the UK and US usually have fewer people and are quieter. Fourth, in the UK, medical treatment is generally free because of the NHS. However, the NHS is slow, and if it's not an emergency, people often have to wait a long time. People can also go to private hospitals, but it's especially expensive. In China, you generally have to pay first for medical treatment, and many people have national medical insurance which can reimburse some of the costs later. I heard that medical treatment in the US is particularly expensive, but many people have insurance which can also provide reimbursements. Friends in the US, can you tell me if this is true?

What is it like to see a doctor in your country? Is it convenient? Remember to leave us a message and share with us!

2 thoughts on “#151 How to see a doctor in China? 在中国怎么看病?”

  1. Hi, I would like to say thank you for the well prepared content of your podcasts and especially the transcript in both languages with an instant translation of words and phrases which even works on a mobile device. It’s so awesome, and it’s helping me a lot to learn Chinese.
    I live in Australia and the healthcare here is very good, but you have to pay for most aspects. In theory there are some GP clinics who “bulk bill” meaning your appointment is completely free but in reality, finding one of these appointments is difficult to impossible. There is a scheme called Medicare which permanent residents and citizens can use to rebate part of the cost of health appointments and treatment. In the first instance you go to a GP, unless it is an emergency. If you don’t mind which doctor you see, you can always get an appointment the same day or next day. Out of pocket costs for one appointment is about 40AUD.
    Blood tests are free. Imaging tests cost anywhere from 100 to 300AUD out of pocket cost in my experience. Emergency care is always free, however ambulances are not, and if you do not have ambulance insurance you can be charged around 20,000AUD for a call out! Apart from that the healthcare here is excellent and reasonably priced. I found it interesting that in China people will go to the hospital even for small ailments. Thank you again for your hard work.

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