Living in Shenzhen: Healthcare

Living in Shenzhen: Healthcare

Are you getting ready to move to Shenzhen? Are you curious about the options that will be available to you and your family in terms of healthcare? Expatmedicare takes a look at what you need to know about healthcare in Shenzhen, one of China's most economically successful cities.

Just a short train ride up from Hong Kong is China's first and one of its most successful special economic zones, Shenzhen. With its longstanding prominence as a part of China's growing economy, Shenzhen has always been a leader in China. That includes being a leader in China's healthcare industry. As the city has attracted many foreigners, Shenzhen offers a variety of options for healthcare with both public and private hospitals and clinics.

Whether you are a family on a cushy expatriate package that includes top-of-the-line insurance which covers everything from maternity to dental, or are on your own as a local hire with not the same packages and benefits, you will need to know where you can go to receive good healthcare treatment. Even though it maintains close proximity to Hong Kong , you don't need to cross the border to get treatment and seek medical attention. There are many hospitals and clinics where you and your family can go to get the care that you need there in Shenzhen.

Shenzhen Public hospitals

Shenzhen has many public hospitals in the city, some that have become renowned among the expat community. The price of public hospitals ranges from just a few RMB for registration to fees costing upwards of a few hundred RMBs. If you plan to seek care at a local hospital, it's important to know what to expect. Patients usually go through a series of procedures, including registering, a consultation, seeing a doctor, undergoing tests and treatment and finally seeing the doctor again. Visits to local hospitals are usually met with long lines and wait times, and it can be confusing for newcomers to China who are used to Western-style healthcare facilities. Additionally, it is advised to bring someone who can translate, as doctors at local hospitals seldom speak foreign languages.

One of the best hospitals in the city is Beijing University Hospital. It is one of five extension hospitals of Beijing University Health and Science Centre, which was founded in 1903. It's known for having some of the best facilities and top medical providers in the area and the country. They've received $450 million in investments to be one of the city's leading public facilities.

Another top public hospital is Shenzhen No 2 People's Hospital. Formerly the Shenzhen Red Cross Hospital, it features many high-tech technologies and has some 1,100 beds. People's Hospital in Shenzhen is another choice for many foreigners as a public hospital, and it sees more than 2,800 outpatient patients daily. It has some 24 patient departments and 9 different wards for internal medicine and surgery. The hospital also has 28 community health service centers and 500 beds.

The University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Hospital is currently in its trial phase and is expected to be fully functioning in 2013. General medicine treatment will cost about 130 RMB in the outpatient department. This amount covers fees for registration, treatment, examination, laboratories and medicine. This is the first hospital to be attached to HKU on the Chinese mainland, and once the hospital begins full operation, it will have about 2,000 beds and is expected to receive 10,000 patients per day.

The city also has a dedicated maternity and children's hospital, the Shenzhen Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital. The hospital is more than 28,000 square meters and has more than 600 beds. It also features some of the country's leading health equipment and maintains high sterilization standards, clinical medical treatment, and medical prevention, research, teaching and training, and community service into one system.

VIP areas at Local Hospitals

Some local hospitals may offer VIP areas or foreign clinics. These areas are designed with expatriates in mind to offer more private and Western-style services, yet these places and the delivery of their services can vary greatly. While you will not have to wait in the same lines as patients in the regular part of the hospital, often times the doctors that work at the foreign clinics also work in the regular part of the hospital. Sometimes these doctors do not have any extra credentials compared with doctors working in the normal section of the hospital, except for the ability to speak foreign languages, usually English. However, for expatriates who cannot afford the high cost of foreign-operated clinics and facilities but want an English-speaking doctor and do not want to wait in the same lines as in the local sections, VIP areas are usually a good middle ground.

Private hospitals and clinics

As the foreign community continues to grow, so has the number of private hospitals and foreign-operated clinics. Shenzhen Can Am International Medical Center is one of the city's largest private facilities. Their staff work to meet the needs of foreigners in the international community in Shenzhen, and many doctors and nurses are able to speak common foreign languages.

International SOS has one of the most prominent facilities. It first entered China in 2001 and is known internationally for establishing clinics in cities around the world where adequate health care may not be as readily available. Their clinics offer state-of-the-art equipment and professional care. International SOS is unique in that it offers memberships for its services, which also include medical evacuation. The clinics also serve non-members, but they must pay out of pocket for their treatment.

One of Shenzhen's most impressive women's hospitals is the Shenzhen Far-East Women & Children Hospital, which opened in 2009. It claims to be the biggest hospital in China for women and children. They offer a range of services for women and children and have an excellent staff of well-trained doctors and nurses who can also speak foreign languages, including English.


Health insurance in China and Shenzhen

Even though there are many inexpensive public hospitals in Shenzhen, it is still recommended that expats obtain international health insurance so that they can seek treatment at private facilities. Often times it can be very difficult to navigate in a Chinese public hospital, primarily because of language and cultural differences. With a policy from an international health insurance company you will have access to private facilities without worrying about paying the cost out of pocket. Additionally, an international health insurance policy not only covers costs of public and private clinics, it can also help you in case of a medical emergency when you need to be medically evacuated.

List of hospitals and clinics in Shenzhen

Peking University Shenzhen Hospital Priority Clinical Center
Address: 6th Floor, Outpatient Department, 1120 Lianhua Road, Futian District, Shenzhen City
Tel: 0755-83923333-8607/8615/8600

1.No surgery, Orthopedics, Obstetrics and pediatrician departments in Priority Clinical Center
2. English service is available.

Shenzhen Can Am International Medical Center
Address:6th Floor, Outpatient Department, 1120 Lianhua Road, Futian District, Shenzhen City
Tel: 0755-83923333-8607/8615/8600

1.Pediatrics is available.
2.English service is available.

Shenzhen Far-East Women & Children Hospital
Address:No.2097 East Shennan Road, Luohu District, Shenzhen, PR China
Tel: 0755-88808888

1. Pediatrics is available.
2.English service is not available.

Shenzhen Nanshan Hospital Special Health-Care Center
Address:1st Floor, Special Health-Care Center, No. 89, Taoyuan Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen 518000
Tel: 86-0755-26476005

Service mainly in Chinese, if need English service, need to make the reservation in advance.
No Emergency & Pediatrics available
8:00am -11:30am,
2:00pm - 5:30pm