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Attention, I am going to make some salient points about medical care in Shanghai. Let me give some perspective. I have lived in greater China for 17 years, the last 10 in Shanghai. I work in the legal profession and I am an expat. Primarily I practice corporate law however on too many occasions I am approached to assist expats who have had unsatisfactory experiences with medical treatment in Shanghai from the foreign medical clinics.

It is disconcerting to me that these complaints are varied and all too common.

Let me point out some facts about the foreign clinics in Shanghai.

a. Staffed by foreign medical practitioners who have either failed in their home jurisdiction or been held too incompetent to practice medicine in their home jurisdiction. However, they are cheap for the international clinics to employ as they are desperate for employment and because they are cheap to employ, they maximise the profits of the international clinics which are run essentially for profit.

b. I have been approached in respect of misdiagnoses of heart conditions, paediatric issues, dermatological conditions etc etc.

c. Those local Chinese medical practitioners that are hired by the foreign clinics are usually the incompetent ones that the local Chinese hospitals are happy to be rid off. I have personally heard on several occasion of paediatricians, anti hesiologists who were dismissed as incompetent by the local leading hospitals, Ruijin, Huashan etc, ending up working for the clinics and foreign inpatient clinics, who are not concerned about incompetence provided the price is right.

d. It is a travesty that these clinics’s abilities are limited to treating mundane problems such as coughs and colds but have little or no competence with medical complications that go behind this. Meanwhile, one pays RM B 2000-4000 at such clinics to be referred to a Chinese medical specialist who five minutes before is treating a local patient for the same condition and charging 200 RMB for the same consultation. By and large, one is therefore paying RMB 3000 for an English interpreter to receive the identical treatment.

The purpose of this post is to advise you that by and large the more competent treatment is to be found in the Shanghai hospitals. For those, who still remain sceptical, ask yourself, when you are next seeing the dermatologist, cardiologist, paediatrician, gynaecologist, ask yourself this, is it better to see the specialist who sees the medical conditions and problems 50 times a day as opposed to the foreign medical practitioner who in his career, and in his or her short time in China, has much less exposure to the medical condition or problem which confronts him or her.

All the above is sad but true.