Anyone who has been to Chinese hospitals, even most VIP centers, knows that there is no real appointment system for doctor visits. This is most chaotic in the most well regarded hospitals, and some patients camp out for hours each morning and still are not guaranteed a visit. There’s a black market each day selling higher ticket numbers.
Hopefully this will change in two months, as the article above mentions last week’s announcement to start appointments in October. This is a good step for Chinese health care, and very much needed. I like to think that as more middle class Chinese experience the relative luxury of expat clinics’ appointment times and 15-20 minute visits, that they will start demanding such service from their own hospitals and clinics. We’ve already started to see more mid-level hospitals such as New Century Pediatric Hospital, and surely many more will come as the government is now investing heavily in health care — including national health insurance. I never thought that China would get universal health care before the US!
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