After nine months of smutzing around Asia, we have decided to return to the US, in time to get house and kids settled before the new school year begins. But first, one more trip to Beijing.
I thought I would post a few pictures of the process one goes through when they visit the doctor in Beijing. It is so absurdly convenient when compared to the US, albeit with a few differences that might make a Westerner squirm.
Upon entering the hospital you are greeted by a row of cabinets, some of which house menacing equipment for riot control. An odd first impression.
A quick line to get registered where inform the triage nurse what kind of doctor you need to see. They assign you a case number and will even give you a little paper booklet that you can carry with you throughout our visit to have doctors record their findings.
Then, you watch a digital display on the wall that indicates your case number’s position in queue… and which doctor office to proceed to when ready. Each doctor office door has a display showing the doctor’s name, background and case currently being handled – so you know when you’re allowed to enter.
The Chinese aren’t as concerned with privacy as the US. Other patients will likely walk in and queue in the doctor’s office and listen to your proceedings.
After an interview with the doctor, s/he can order whatever tests or scans they like. Rather than getting a referral and having to leave the building you simply walk to the appropriate room in the building. X-rays, cat-scans, etc. Each have their room and a display showing the case number in progress. Rather than showing the doctor’s name and background, it shows a picture of the equipment in the room, even including the model number and highlighting the equipment’s abilities. Blood tests of course close by – just stick your hand through the window and they do the rest.
When you’re done getting whatever tests the doctor ordered, you simply return to the originating doctor’s queue and s/he reviews the results immediately. Medicine is ordered and you walk a few paces to the cashier and visit the dispensary on your way out.
$20 RMB for registration, including the doctor visit. $50 RMB for the blood test. $92.82 RMB for medicine. That’s $23 USD total without insurance, and we were in and out in about 1 hour total.
On a lighter note, this is what you get at the movies in Beijing.