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Health and Quarantine

China Introduction

Quarantine

Those who carry such special articles as microorganisms, human body tissues, biological products, and blood and its products, should declare to a quarantine department, and subject these articles to quarantine inspections. Passengers from yellow fever-infested areas should, when entering China, display to the quarantine department effective certificates showing that they have been inoculated against yellow fever. He who does not have such a valid certificate shall be retained for observation for six days beginning from the day he left the infested area, or he shall be inoculated and retained until the certificate comes into effect. It is the task of the Chinese quarantine authorities to prevent foreigners suffering AIDS, venereal diseases, leprosy, mental diseases and open tuberculosis from entering China.  

Immunizations

There are no particular immunizations required for entry into China, unless the traveler is coming from a yellow fever infected area. The Canadian and US disease control and prevention authorities recommend the all travelers have current polio and tetanus immunizations. For traveling into the countryside and remote areas, immune globulin is also recommended to combat hepatitis A, as is typhoid immunization. It is very important that you consult your own doctor or local clinic for more information.  We advise you to bring along a supply of antibiotics, an anti-diarrhea agent, and any other prescription drugs required by your current medical conditions.

Health & Hygiene       

China is a remarkably healthy country despite its relative poverty and climatic variations. Standards of hygiene varies from place to place so all visitors must be aware of potential hazards and act cautiously. Tap water is not safe; all water consumed must be boiled or filtered unless it is bottled mineral water. Boiled water is available in all Chinese hotels and restaurants. Although food is prepared fresh and cooked or cleaned thoroughly, stomach upsets are possible so it is advisable to take some medicine with you. 

Ailments such as sore throats and chest colds are also possible and can occur at any time of year considering China's climatic extremes. The summer months are brutally hot so it is imperative to combat the harmful summer heat with a sufficient supply of liquids to prevent dehydration. 

Prior to departing for China, it is recommended that you get accident and medical insurance coverage for any medical expenses that may arise during a trip. 

No vaccinations are required for travel to China but it is advisable to check with your doctor for current information. Tetanus and typhoid vaccines are essential for travel anywhere, and rabies and hepatitis vaccinations are recommended. Please note that there is a risk of malaria in remote areas of south China, so take precautionary measures before you go. 

For Health Regulations please check with your local health unit for required vaccinations and inoculations.

 

 

Emergency Medical Service

The clinics in large hotels and restaurants offer medical and first aid services to travelers. If you feel uncomfortable while on a tour, you may call the outpatient department of a local hotel, or ask your guide to take you to see the doctor.

 

China Medical Service - Consular Information Sheet of US Gov.

 from Consular Information Sheet of US Department of State

MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Western -style medical facilities with international staffs are available in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and a few other large cities. Many other hospitals in major Chinese cities have so-called VIP wards (gaogan bingfang). These feature reasonably up-to-date medical technology and physicians who are both knowledgeable and skilled. Most VIP wards also provide medical services to foreigners and have English-speaking doctors and nurses. Most hospitals in China will not accept medical insurance from the United States, with the exception of the following hospitals, which are on the BlueCross BlueShield’s worldwide network providers - overseas network hospitals’ list: Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing Friendship Hospital, International Medical Center in Beijing, and Peking Union Medical Center. Travelers will be asked to post a deposit prior to admission to cover the expected cost of treatment. Hospitals in major cities may accept credit cards for payment. Even in the VIP/Foreigner wards of major hospitals, however, American patients have frequently encountered difficulty due to cultural and regulatory differences. Physicians and hospitals have sometimes refused to supply American patients with complete copies of their Chinese hospital medical records, including laboratory test results, scans, and x-rays.

Ambulances do not carry sophisticated medical equipment. Injured or seriously ill Americans may be required to take taxis or other immediately available vehicles to the nearest major hospital rather than waiting for ambulances to arrive. Generally, in rural areas, only rudimentary medical facilities are available, often with poorly trained medical personnel who have little medical equipment and medications. Rural clinics are often reluctant to accept responsibility for treating foreigners, even in emergency situations.

SOS International, Ltd., operates modern medical and dental clinics and provides medical evacuation and medical escort services in Beijing, Nanjing, Tianjin and Shekou, as well as 24hr Alarm Centers in Beijing and Shanghai. Through clinics in Beijing (24 hours), Tianjin, Nanjing and Shekou, SOS offers international standard family practice services, emergency medical services and a range of clinical services.

For medical emergencies anywhere in mainland China, Americans can call the SOS International, Ltd., 24-hour "Alarm Center" in Beijing at telephone (86)(10) 6462-9100 or in Shanghai at (86)(21) 5298-9538 for advice and referrals to local facilities. SOS International Alarm Centers can also be contacted in Hong Kong at telephone (852) 2428-9900 and in the United States at (215) 245-4707. For a full list of SOS locations and phone numbers, consult the SOS website at http://www.internationalsos.com.

BEIJING
Bayley & Jackson Beijing Medical Center

#7 Ritan Dong Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020
(86)(10) 8562-9998 Fax: (86)(10) 8561-4866
email: info@bjhealthcare.com
Website: www.bjhealthcare.com

Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics
#2 Jiang Tai Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100016
(86)(10) 6433-3960 Fax: (86)(10) 6433-3963
Emergency Hotline: (86)(10) 6433-2345
Website: www.unitedfamilyhospitals.com

Beijing United Family Clinic — Shunyi
Pinnacle Plaza , Unit # 818, Tian Zhu Real Estate Development Zone, Shunyi District, 101312
(86)(10) 8046-5432 Fax: (86)(10) 8046-4383

Peking Union Medical Hospital
1 Shuai Fu Yuan, Dong Cheng District, Beijing 100730
Tel: (86)(10) 6529-5269(registration and information); (86)(10) 6529-5284 (24 hours); (86)(10) 6529 6114 (operator)
Modern Facilities with English speaking staff. Separate ward for foreign patients.

SHANGHAI
World Link Shanghai Clinics: Expatriate doctors and imported vaccines. Hotline: (86)(21) 6385-9990 www.worldlink-shanghai.com. World Link Medical Centers located at:

Shanghai Center Medical Center
1376 Nanjing Xi Lu Suite 203
Telephone: (86)(21) 6279-7688

Hong Qiao Medical Center
2258 Hong Qiao Lu
Telephone: (86)(21) 6242-0909

Specialty Clinic
Lu Wan Hospital, 3rd Floor
170 Dan Shui Lu
Telephone: (86)(21) 6445-5999

Jin Qiao Medical & Dental Center
51 Hong Feng Lu
Pudong
Tel: (86)(21) 5032-8288

Global Health Care
This is a Hong Kong invested facility with a strong cardiac risk assessment focus.
Staffed by western physicians.

Shanghai Kerry Center
Room 301
1515 Nanjing West Rd
Tel: (86)(21) 5298-6339

Fudan Vision
Managed by VisionHealthOne a Singapore health care company and affiliated to Fudan Medical University. Staffed by Singapore and western physicians.

Silver Tower 3 rd Floor
228 South Xizang Rd
Tel: (86)(21) 6334-3668

Shanghai United Family Hospital
1139 Xianxia Lu
Tel: (86)(21) 5133-1900
Emergency hotline: (86)(21) 5133-1999
www.unitedfamilyhospitals.com

Shanghai East International Medical Center
551 South Pudong Rd
Telephone: (86)(21) 5879-999

GlobalDoctor, Ltd., has opened clinics staffed by English-speaking doctors within the VIP wards of government-run hospitals in Chengdu, Nanjing, and Beijing. There is also a clinic in Shenyang with a 24- hour emergency assistance hotline at (86)(24) 2433-0678. GlobalDoctor can be reached by telephone from China at (86)(10) 8456-9191 or on the Internet

Additional information on medical providers specializing in treating foreigners for general medical, dental and orthodontic problems are available at http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at (877) FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747) or via the CDC’s Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website at http://www.who.int/en. Further health information for travelers is available at http://www.who.int/ith.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL TREATMENTS:  There have been increasing numbers of foreigners coming to China to receive alternative medical treatments or procedures prohibited in the United States relating specifically to stem-cell research. Any person contemplating these treatments should be fully aware of the risks of such procedures. The treatments can be dangerous and untested. The results are not guaranteed. In many instances, patients going for treatment develop secondary infections that cannot be handled by these facilities. They are transferred to hospitals for treatment and are responsible for all additional costs, including repatriation back to the United States. In some cases, these treatments have resulted in death.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:  The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. Please see our information on medical insurance overseas. China has no public healthcare system to provide for people without insurance or money. If you become sick or injured, you will be expected to pay for your bills, sometimes even before treatment is offered.

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning China is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

The rate of traffic accidents in China, including fatal accidents, is among the highest in the world. Driving etiquette in China is developing. As a result, traffic is often chaotic, and right-of-way and other courtesies are often ignored. Travelers should note that cars and buses in the wrong lanes frequently hit pedestrians and bicyclists.Pedestrians should always be careful while walking near traffic. Road/traffic conditions are generally safe if occupants of modern passenger vehicles wear seatbelts. Most traffic accident injuries involve pedestrians or cyclists who are involved in collisions or who encounter unexpected road hazards (e.g., unmarked open manholes). Foreigners with resident permits can apply for PRC driver licenses; however, liability issues often make it preferable to employ a local driver. Child safety seats are not widely available in China. Americans who wish to ride bicycles in China are urged to wear safety helmets meeting U.S. standards.

The number of American citizens involved in serious and deadly traffic accidents in Beijing is increasing. The Embassy strongly encourages travelers to exercise special caution when crossing streets in China’s cities as pedestrians do not have the right-of-way. Please note that many taxi cabs do not have functioning seatbelts for passengers.

All drivers should be aware of the Chinese regulations regarding traffic accidents. These include the requirement that drivers:

  • Not move their vehicles or disturb the scene of the accident unless and until ordered to by the traffic police (in Shanghai, the police now prefer that if the parties can reach agreement as to who was at fault they move the vehicles out of the flow of traffic.)
  • Summon the traffic police and wait at the scene until the police arrive and complete their investigation.

If called to an accident, the police may take 20 minutes or longer to arrive. Once the police arrive, they will complete a preliminary investigation and arrange a time for you to report to the police station responsible for the accident scene. The police will prepare a written report, in Chinese, describing the circumstances of the accident. They will present the report to you either at the scene, or more likely at the police station, and ask you to sign it verifying the details of the accident. Do not sign the report as is, unless your Chinese is good enough to completely understand the report and you find it totally accurate. If you either do not understand it or believe it is partly or wholly inaccurate, you may either:

  • Write a disclaimer on the report to the effect that you cannot read and understand the report and cannot attest to the accuracy thereof, but are signing it because of the police requirement that you do so, and then sign, or
  • Write your own version of the accident, in English, on the police form and indicate that your signature only attests to the accuracy of the English version.

Most incidents (such as an accident) will draw a crowd. Drivers should remain calm. A crowd will usually move in very close to the accident and participants. In many cases the bystanders consider themselves to be an ad hoc jury. They may call for money, usually from RMB 100 to 1,000, to be paid by the party they consider at fault. The amount is not necessarily relevant to the amount of damage. A certain amount of bargaining is normal, even at accidents involving two Chinese parties. Though a crowd may seem threatening, crowd assaults on foreigners at accidents have not been reported. If a traffic police booth is nearby, you may wish to leave the vehicle and walk there to await the arrival of the police accident team. Alternatively, you may walk to a shop, restaurant, or other location nearby in the immediate vicinity and wait for police.

You should not leave the scene of an accident. Your actions may serve to further incite the crowd if they perceive that you are fleeing to evade responsibility for your share of blame or payment of damages. The crowd may attempt to keep your vehicle at the accident scene by standing in the way or blocking the roadway with vehicles, bicycles and other objects.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the country’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety at China National Tourist Bureau — http://www.cnta.com

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of China’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of China’s air carrier operations. For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s internet web site at http://www.faa.gov.

- all the information in this table is from Consular Information Sheet of US Department of State, for you reference only.

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