What to do during a medical emergency in Shanghai

What to do during a medical emergency in Shanghai

When you and your family are in your home country, should anything unpleasant happens, you have your support group, your family and friends, you know what to do, who to call, where to go, you are familiar with the healthcare system, there is no language or cultural barrier.

All these may not be the case when you are living in Shanghai. So it is extremely important that you are familiar with the procedures should anything unpleasant happens. What kind of support can you get from your international health insurance providers?


Ambulance in Shanghai


If an accident requires an ambulance, do take note that none of the hospitals in Shanghai own any ambulance. All the ambulances are run by the Shanghai Ambulance Center. If you call 120 for an ambulance, it will be able to take you to your preferred hospital but it may take some time before it arrives. The service is 24-hour and upon arrival at the hospital, there will be a service charge. Take note that the operator has very limited command of English so you should learn to say at least your address and the name of your preferred hospital in Chinese.

If it is safe to move the sick or injured person, the fastest way to get to the hospital is by taxi or private car. Always have a card with the name, address and telephone number of your preferred hospital in English and Chinese. If you live in a managed compound, the management office or the security guards are usually very helpful.

Always keep your International Health Insurance card with you

If you are insured, always keep your insurance card with you so you can call their emergency hotline for assistance and arrange for direct billing whenever possible or get evacuated to a better facility if needed.

Otherwise, you can also call the emergency line of Shanghai United Family Hospital at 2216 3999/5133 1999. If you need an interpreter over the phone, you can call the Shanghai Call Centre at 962288, which provides such service at no charge. If you choose to be admitted to the A&E department of local hospitals, make sure that you have at least Rmb10k – 20k cash on hand as payment is expected upon admission.