Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

My Chinese Hospital Visit Part 2

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 28, 2010


This is part of my multi-part series on Chinese hospitals. I had some problems with my lungs and went to the nearest hospital which happens to be a Chinese Red Army hospital, searching for meds. I entered the place and approached a couple of ‘docs’ in the emergency room. The guys were dressed a bit casually, one in Bermudas, flip flops, and the other in jeans. They had kind of hinted at me having bronchitis and sent me to register and pay…
action begins (this is actually a true story)
So I’d just plunked down about the cost of 1.5 DVD’s with the latest movie title, (U$22, for meds the checkup and xrays) and returned to the office of the docs. The one doc had felt me up and down with his stethoscope, and the other had basically translated. When I arrived again Dr. Feels good with the stethoscope once again had a new patient. From what I’d gathered they still had to do some checking about my person, and then draw some blood, from there it would be xrays and then the diagnosis, the meds, and bye bye.

I sat and watched the guy in Bermudas, working on some old guy and waited, the crony or doctor #2 left the office. The old guy looked in pain and was hacking up phlegm, I moved away, started to pace in the office. All of the sudden a freaking military officer enters the room, and posts at the door. I was like wtf is he doing, then i proceeded to watch the old guy wheezing and wondered how long it would take for me to be in his condition.
The doc in Bermudas looks up at the officer and points at me, the guy listens then walks over, tells me to come with him. I’m thinking its going to be something like midnight run, where they take me out back and kick my ass, deport me, and then shoot me. I’m adventurous so I go with the guy. We return to the receptionist, apparently they’d undercharged me, or something like that, so I fork over another 100 RMB (15 U$), politely talk to another patient who is speaking to me in what he presumes to be is English, and then we return to the office.
Returning to the office, the place is empty, the docs are gone, no sandals no old man coughing, nothing. The officer looks at me, shrugs, and points at his watch, its lunch time. He tells me to sit in the hall. The hall is gloomy and dark and no one is there. Its like being in jail. I wait

– to be continued

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