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Shanghai International Health Insurance Advice

  China International Health Insurance  
  • Shanghai Health Insurance Information

In general sense, Shanghai is a place that has a decent healthcare service at work and it is continually undergoing improvements. There are a number of medical practices that focus on Western Medicine and they are popular with the local expatriate communities here. It s advised that you find out from your contacts prior to arriving in Shanghai on the best medical care for yourself and your family. Here, you will find each expatriate community often boasts of its own medical facility, even though the choice and depth of service may vary (dependent on community size and local availability).

Traditional Chinese Medicine (or TCM) is of course a mainstay here in Shanghai. It provides an alternative option to the expatriate communities in addition to the conventional western medicine. As in other places in the world, expats here may have mixed views about this complimentary branch of medicine; while some showing strong disapproval but some giving them a lot of acclaims. Message service is commonly available here in Shanghai but just be wary that the service level and price charge may vary a lot (subject to the professional background and training, as well as the depth of service on offer). Some of these message clinics focus on dispensing traditional Chinese medicine but there are also others who offer complimentary services such as manicure and pedicure.

Healthcare Facilities in Shanghai

Out of convenience, it is no surprising that clinics that are western based or western managed tend to be the destinations of choice for the local expatriate communities. But you would be glad to know that the Shanghai health authority also designates certain facilities in the city as foreigners' clinics, though the common complain is that such clinics suffer from inadequate professionalism and expertise Another problem with these clinics are that a number of them are staffed by non-English speaking locals, so it helps to arm yourself with some basic Chinese words (or better still convince somebody along who is proficient in Chinese language) before making the trip to the clinic.

The cost is reasonable but may differ across clinics and the level of care is sufficient. There may be also some hospitals that take on foreigners only on basis of emergency.

Private Medical Facilities in Shanghai

With the economic growth, private healthcare has become more commonplace in Shanghai. These are private hospitals and clinics, and invariably they are joint ventures. Depending of the staff level and adequacy of medical equipment, the treatment dispensed may differ a lot from one to another.

As in the case of developing countries, the general practice among the local expatriate communities is for them to go home when require medical treatment, or they can travel to the other Asian cities such as Bangkok and Hong Kong for their treatments. Shanghai still has some work to do when it comes to general perception of its medical credentials.

American-run medical clinics are popular in this city and they are fully qualified or comfortable to carry out medical duties. This is a rapidly growing trade as more set up practices in the city due to the continual growth of the Shanghai expatriate communities.

It is not within the regulatory framework of Shanghai to enforce immunizations but its health authority would encourage such as immunizations against Hepatits A & B, Japanese encephalitis and rabies. We would recommend that you take those measures at your departing city but you can also leave to the Shanghai medical personnel to take care of that (but pay attention to the inds of immunizations they are ready to carry out).

Due to strict trade and legal restrictions, some of the common drugs you can find easily may not be readily available over the counter at the drug stores here in Shanghai. Your best option is to buy them first in your home country and ship them over. Import certificate is a must by law with such shipments though it is alleged that customs officers are always too busy to check on those. You would not have a problem with prescribed drugs but be prepared to show proof of prescription.

Health care in Shanghai

In general Shanghai is regarded as possessing an adequate healthcare network and good as it is today, the healthcare is still undergoing development. Locally, the expatriates tend to frequent the mushrooming Western-oriented medical clinics or hospitals. You are well advised to find out from your family doctor, your insurance company, and counterparts and friends on the kind of medical facility that could take good care of your health or that of your family. Reason is because medical facilities in Shanghai tend to be organized around the various community locations, due to its substantial presence in Shanghai but you will find the choice available and depth of service on offer differs from one community to the next.

Of course, the local expats can have more than just the normal western facility; traditional Chinese medical treatment (TCM) is available here as well. It serves as an interesting option to the Western medicine we are used to. Some western trained doctors have a pretty dismissive attitude towards this particular field of medicine, but there are also some who are more supportive; having benefitted after trying these alternatives themselves.  Massage service is a common offering in Shanghai. It is a practice that incorporates traditional Chinese medicines. The service and price on offer can vary greatly across massage clinics since the skill and training of service staff vary. In addition to the usual TCM services, manicure and pedicure are some of the complimentary services there. 

Healthcare Facilities in Shanghai

The usual clinics of preference for local expatriates in Shanghai are the popular Western styled clinics or general practitioners; and they also have a choice of designated foreigners' clinics by local authorities, but the services may not be the best in terms of facilities and treatment. These are usually not staffed by English-speaking medical professionals, even more difficult if you want to find the more proficient type, get a colleague or friend along should you decide to visit such designated foreigners' clinics.

The medical quality is decent; it is generally inexpensive but please keep in mind that this could vary. It is worthwhile to point out some local hospitals will only treat foreigners admitted on emergencies only.

Shanghai Private Hospitals and Clinics

Privately run Hospitals and clinics in the city are getting popular with the local over the years. These represent the joint-venture types of investments. Depending on how well-staffed and equipped, your experience with such individual hospitals or clinics may vary.

It gets common for foreign expatriates to head home if they are in possession of a more serious / complicated health condition. Or, they can pick Hong Kong or Bangkok for the required treatment. The common belief held by local expatriates is that when it comes to complicated health conditions, their best bet is to turn overseas for treatment.


The regulatory system developed in Shanghai does not compel residents and expatriates on any immunization program, but as general advice, you should go for those concerning Hepatits A & B, Japanese encephalitis and rabies. You could choose to do this either in your home country or you could leave the job to the local Shanghai clinics to deal with it; but double check if they do the immunizations you want.

If you can help it, decide early what sorts of medicines you would need before moving to Shanghai and buy them all before making the trip as you will find them hard to get over the counter at drug stores. You are required by legislation to produce import certificate for this shipment of overseas drugs but seems like the officer at the custom is not really bothered about that. Prescribed medication is not a problem so long there is proof of prescription.

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These plans are designed for individual and families, offering specific cover such as Maternity or Free children possible coverage. The plans are guaranteed renewable.

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