A couple days ago I published part one of the results from my recently finished Health Snapshot Beijing 2010 survey. I wanted to get a sense of where expats were going for healthcare, as well as how they felt about their experiences. So I asked a few questions focused on Beijing expats’ use of all clinics, both expat and local. Here are the results…
Question 5: Where do you usually get your healthcare?
This was a multiple-choice question (75 responders, 88 answers), so the pie chart’s percentages are a bit off, but I will give the exact details here. Overall, the expat clinics were easily the most popular places for healthcare, with 71% of responders choosing one of them. But a large percentage (27%) of responders went to local Chinese hospitals; this was evenly divided between their VIP departments and their regular wards. I wasn’t too surprised that 8% went to a local Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”) clinic.
My impression here is that the numbers aren’t too surprising. Most/many expats have work-related health insurance which covers the expat clinics, and most people find comfort in clinics similar to what they had back at home. Plus, the language barriers at local clinics would also deter many. But at the same time, a large group (35%) have been to local clinics and TCM clinics as well, so clearly there is a big mixture. Here’s the chart:
But this begs the question — how much do people actually like their expat clinic? Let’s find out next…
Question 6: How satisfied are you with your expat clinic?
A large majority of people (63%) were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their expat clinic experiences. I was actually surprised that only 9% were with their experiences. One third of responders were neutral.
I find this positive response very encouraging, both professionally for me since I work at one of these clinics, but also on a personal level as it’s quietly reassuring that an overwhelming majority of Beijingers aren’t disappointed in their health care clinics. It’s comforting to know that most of us, so far from our native lands, feel fairly safe in getting good health care during our years in Beijing. Here’s the pie chart:
But what about the 23% who do not get healthcare from expat clinics? How do they feel about their local clinics? Let’s find out…
Question 7: How satisfied are you with your visits in local hospitals?
This was a more mixed response: of those who had been to local clinics and hospitals (53 out of 75), 42% were happy with their experience, 25% were neutral, and 34% were unhappy. But the enthusiasm was muted: 7% were “very satisfied”, which is lower than the 18% who were “very satisfied” with expat clinics. And 13% were “very dissatisfied”, a bit higher than the 3% regarding their expat clinic.
The Bottom Line?
Again, these results aren’t too surprising overall. It was predictable that expats would be more satisfied at expat clinics. Still, I think the findings are reassuring for us, that the majority of Beijing expats feel they are getting good healthcare. The major follow-up question, which I did not ask, is why is this so?
I would also love to know other things, such as:
- How many people have insurance?
- How many would go to expat clinics if they could afford it? Or, the opposite — how many go to local clinics because they cannot afford expat clinics?
- What’s your main reason for going to local clinics: convenience? Finances? Philosophy?
- Is your expat clinic better or worse than your clinic back at home?
What would you want to know more about? Let me know in the comment section below.
Next Survey Post, Part 3: air pollution and food safety: major problems or massive hype?
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