Is medical costs expensive in China? This is the type of question we often hear from potential clients. And the answer is that it primarily depends on what kind of medical facility you go to. In government-run public hospitals, you can see a specialist for as little as RMB 90 while overnight stay in a ward will not run you over RMB 300 a night.
However, many expats in China are not keen on such care and thus prefer to go to international and private-style hospitals. Costs in those are significantly higher. The average cost of a life-threatening situation in a private hospital in China will exceed RMB 900,000 or ~ USD 140,000. Whereas per-night stay costs for the room fee only vary between RMB 3,500 and RMB 5,000. The most expensive bills for inpatient care are related to ICU fees and treatments in coma. Costs for such are, on average, around RMB 15,000 per night, not including drugs, doctor, or nurse fees.
Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, typically cost RMB 300,000 – RMB 500,000 per year. A stroke or heart attack in a top-rated heart hospital in Beijing or Shanghai will not leave much change from RMB 200,000 per case.
Average outpatient bills for a regular family doctor visit will be somewhere between RMB 600 and RMB 1,200. Visiting a specialist will be closer to the RMB 800-2,000 mark. Consultation on different therapies in an international clinic will present you with a bill in the RMB 800-RMB3,500 range. Mental health and other related care with internationally licensed psychologists will be around the RMB 2,200-4,000 mark.
Prices may also vary depending on the city you live. For example, consultation with General Practitioner in Parkway Health Shanghai will roughly cost you around RMB 1000-1500. Not counting any scans or lab tests they prescribe you. The exact same consultation at Parkway Health in Suzhou will cost you typically 20% less. The same applies for other major hospital chains such as United Family, Raffles, and Sino United Health.
For more information see our article regarding how much does it cost to see a doctor in China.