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November 2022

How much does it cost to see a doctor in China?

How much does it cost to see a doctor in China? 150 150 China Access Team

How much does it cost to see a doctor in China?

That will primarily depend on what medical facility you decide to go to. To remind our readers again, there are 2 types of medical facilities in China: government run hospitals (public care) as well as international type private clinics and hospitals. Last are quite often foreign funded and have several partnerships with overseas hospitals. This article will guide you on how much it costs to see a doctor in China.

Is medical expensive in China?

Lets start our analysis with public medical facilities. Best of those are referred to as Grade 3 hospitals. Social insurance will cover expenses in those. Quite a few of these facilities also have VIP or International department. Note that social insurance in won’t cover expenses in this case. Just a general department. Most well-know this type of hospitals are Ruijin Hospital上海市瑞金医院 and Huashan Hospital上海华山医院 in Shanghai. Others are Beijing Union Hospital 北京协和医院 and China-Japan Friendship Hospital中日友好医院 in Beijing.

Below is executive summary for getting health treatment in public government run hospitals in China.

Cost of health treatment in China

Costs of medical in hospitals in China

If you are looking for giving birth in public hospitals, costs will range somewhere between CNY 3,000-8,000. This will apply for a general section and CNY 10,000-35,000 in a VIP section. Tier 1-2 cities tend to have larger costs compared to smaller cities.

Costs to see a doctor in China. Private medical care.

Similarly to public government run Tier 3 hospitals, this depends on city where you live and what kind of medical facility you go to. Cities like Beijing and Shanghai have higher medical bills for patient compared to similar treatments in Tier 2-3 cities. For example a well known chain of private clinics such as Parkway Health will easily charge you around RMB 1,500 for a general family doctor consultation in Shanghai. But drive 100km over to Suzhou and visit Parkway Health in Suzhou, costs will already be around 10-30% less. Refer to our article on what private hospitals in China for expats there are to learn more.

While we did cover costs of giving birth in China in our article here, let’s analyze how much RMB will it run for regular treatments. We will also include procedures from few reputable international clinics and hospitals. Foreigners and expats in China shall expect to spend around RMB 620-1,150 for a regular consultation with family doctor in private clinics. Seeing a specialist will be more within RMB 810-1,530 range. This will let you have a consultations with dermatologists, psychologists and physiotherapists.

How much does inpatient care cost in China?

Overnight stays will require RMB 3,050-4,590 of costs per night. While inpatient surgeries can greatly vary between RMB 5,100 and RMB 150,000 per incident. All depending on complexity of medical condition. Let’s dig into cost estimations that are provided directly by hospitals and that are usually quite accurate.

NOTE: very often hospitals can have preferential rates with several insurance companies. In that case you might be seeing bills with less zeros if you have insurance that supports direct billing services.  

Some of the most popular international hospitals in Beijing are United Family – often referred to as BJU. Followed by OASIS International. Below are costs estimations published by BJU for regular health procedures.

Costs to see doctor in China

United Family

Source: Beijing United Family Hospital website

Surprisingly, Shanghai United Family follows different price strategy and is on average around 30-40% lower in price. More details below.

Cost of health procedures in Shanghai

Source: Shanghai United Family Hospital website.

Give or take but places like OASIS or Vista clinic in Beijing, Parkway in Shanghai will roughly be in the same price range. There is however a number of medical facilities that will present you even lower bills than Shanghai United Family. Examples would be Hong Kong Medical Center in capital and Jiahui or Sino-United in Shanghai. Below is for reference on average costs structure in Jiahui Health.

Health care costs in Shanghai

Source: Jiahui Health website

As you see costs to see a doctor in China in private facilities can vary largely too. Always make sure your health insurance covers medical facility you are about to go to. Ideally even with direct billing services so you can avoid hassle of claims bills for reimbursement. Get in touch with us to know more about options available for you & your family. We will be happy to present you what plans may suit you best.

Is Healthcare Free in China for Expats?

Is Healthcare Free in China for Expats? 150 150 China Access Team

Is Healthcare Free in China for Expats?

China has universal free healthcare for it’s citizens. As an employed foreigner in China you are entitled to participate in this through social insurance. It is a mandatory requirement for all employed expats in the country. Portions for it will be deducted from your pay check every month. How much of portions are we talking about? This varies and depends largely on your monthly pay check and compensation package. As a general rule of thumb it is somewhere between 7-15%.

How can foreigners get social insurance in China?

Social insurance in China consists of 5 pillars and different pillars are paid up by different party. Either by you, or by your employer or by both together. Below graph represents what party contributes to which part of social insurance.

Social insurance in China for expats

Source: Hr One Website

It is true that there has been many cases, particularly in Shanghai, where foreigners omit signing up for it. In that case they rather spend the savings on private medical plan instead. Ultimately, that decision is on you and subject to whether your HR approves it or no.

Difference between private health insurance and social insurance in China

Most noticeable difference is that social insurance covers far more things. Such as housing fund and pension that you can start receiving after 15 years of contribution. However, if we put those aside let’s see what are major difference on health insurance side.

  • social insurance will only reimburse medical expenses in public, government run medical facilities. Not even VIP or International sections. So if you are accustomed to international hospitals like United Family or Parkway – social insurance won’t be much use there.

See below more details on what are popular international hospitals in China for expats

  • only in very few occasions social insurance covers 100% of medical expenses. A lot of medical bills will require copayment from your side, this typically ranges between 10-30%.
  • very often contribution to social insurance gets more expensive than getting a good private medical insurance. Take for example an average expat with RMB 40,000 salary. Average contribution of 10% will be RMB 4,000 on a monthly basis, that is RMB 48,000 per year. For that much money expatriate can get a family insurance plan for 2-3 people. *assuming cover in for China only, in&outpatient and for average ages of 30-35yo.

Check out below article on more details about costs of health insurance in China for foreigners

  • while private medical insurance is cheaper in costs, it will also provide you with far higher limits and coverage without copaymentss. Oh, and don’t forget that you will have access to private medical facilities so no need to get up early and queue up for a ticket in a hospital 🙂

For more information about health insurance for expats in China please get in touch through this page so one of our consultants can guide you through the options.