You Get What You Pay For -medical in Shanghai

We all wish we never see the inside of a hospital. It means terrible things in most instances. That of course is even truer when traveling or working abroad; a scarier thought. As you know recently I have been sick. I have seen the inside of the hospital numerous times over the last few weeks. In Canada our insurance is covered. Doctor and hospital visits are free, something that our high taxes affords us. In China my work luckily pays for my insurance and I never had to use it for much more than a small cold or sinus infection. This year ultra sounds, CT scans and blood tests have become part of the norm. Each time I pay a small fee for the tests, but wait times are minutes, hours or days at max. At home long wait lists can stretch time lines into weeks or months. Results are just as fast within the hour at times.


My hospital bed

My hospital bed

Recent tests and another CT scan discovered a small cyst or tumor that is the result of my pain and poor health. The kidney stone was the obvious diagnosis, but the fever and other side effects it prompted them to keep searching. Quick reactions almost lead me to a hospital stay and operation on Monday. I wasn’t prepared for that and wanted my western doctor to review everything to make an informed decision, so we somehow got them to release me. I however turned into a pin cushion with 6 needles in 24 hours. A strong antibiotic was administered through IV. The pain has reduced so hopefully this will lead to recovery and not an operation.


My hospital room looked more like a hotel. The treatment that I received was of great care. With the tests I had Friday the hospital had limited English and they sent one of the girls to come with us to translate. She asked if I had a way to the hospital 45 minutes to 1 hour from home and when I told her I would take the metro she arranged to have a car and driver pick us up. He waited to take me home, but when they thought I may be admitted they sent him home. She has sat with me to keep me company and talk with me when I was alone, as my husband was in Canada when I first started this process. She puts in long hours and is always available through texts and calls. The doctor stopped in on his way home to check on me and make sure everything was going well. I also have their personal mobile numbers and have been encouraged to call if needed. Being so far away from home I have been very lucky to have such support and care. It certainly has made this process so much easier.

Stay tuned…

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28 thoughts on “You Get What You Pay For -medical in Shanghai

  1. Good luck and take care.

  2. Freda Goulet

    Diana, so sorry that you are still not back to your normal good health. I’m happy to hear that you are getting excellent medical care…and that John is there to take care of you as well. I hope you are starting to feel less pain and that your good health will be restored soon. Sending love and healing energy, Aunt Freda

    • Thanks πŸ™‚ It is better to know what is going on and I hope this can be now resolved quickly and easily. Hardest part is the not knowing.

  3. Hope you get well soon. It’s wonderful to have such a medial care in Shanghai. Take care! (((HUGS))) Amy

    • Thanks Amy. I hope this gets sorted now that they know what is wrong. I am glad I have been taken care of, but I should do another post on the difference of opinions in hospitals with people smoking and construction happening right beside patient rooms with dust everywhere… it is just so opposite to the germ-a-phobe ideas back home.

  4. Hope you get well soon!

    • Thanks. It has been weeks of tests and not knowing. Now they know I hope treatment can solve this quickly now -without surgery if possible.

  5. Wow CTB how terrific that you’ve had such great care there. Glad you’ve figured it out and hope you’re back on your feet and feeling better very soon. Be sure to keep us updated!

    • Thanks Tina. It has been a interesting that is for sure. So many little aches and pains you explain away for so long. I am glad to have such nice people with good ‘bed side manner’. As I said to Amy I should do a post on hospitals and how here there is not that germ-a-phobe fear. Smoking in the hospital despite signs posted and then construction right beside patient rooms… but then most signs here are just a suggestion πŸ˜‰

  6. Hoping for improved health soon. It’s good to hear the hospital and treatment favorable. Wishing you the best and rooting for your well being. Gemma

    • Thanks Gemma. I got out of hospital almost a week ago. Ended up with surgery. I will post about it over the next few days. All is well now πŸ™‚

  7. Praying for your fast recovery and good health. That is a very nice hospital indeed with caring medical staff. The restroom sink looks like the one in hotels. Very spacious too. It does makes a difference when we are wonderfully cared for when we get sick in a foreign land.

    • Thanks IT. I ended up needing surgery and all the people with their prayers and visits certainly made it all better. I was very blessed to have such great people around.

  8. I am so sorry you are sick! Do you know what is causing it? The body is such a strange thing. It is good that you are having good care. I am sure it is nerve wracking being in a different country. Keep us posted. Thinking of you and a speedy recovery! Also I hate hospitals too. Giving birth freaked me out! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Nicole. Well this was an experience for sure. It took a long time to figure it all out since I had some many symptoms meaning different things. I have been sick off and on since the summer and never felt recovered after each bout. I guess it was this all along and finally late October it got bad. I just got out of hospital a week ago and recovery now from surgery. From first thought of a kidney stone to cyst to tumour… which they didn’t discover until the surgery. All scans and tests showed cyst. Good news is now I’m home and can heal then all will be well.

      • Yes indeed! Our health is so incredibly important! Wishing you a speedy recovery!!!

        • Thanks again. It is all better and problem solved. Now it is just the surgery to recovery from. The body needs time to heal. I am glad the Christmas break is so close with lots of time to rest.

  9. Oh, I really hope you get back to 100% soon. There’s nothing worse than not being completely yourself. At least you’re getting excellent, fast healthcare!! The experience is similar in Korea, though I’ve never had a doctor give me a personal mobile number. Wow!

    • Hi Shelley… thanks. It was a crazy whirlwind last few weeks. Turned out I was admitted Mon Nov 24 and after I didn’t respond to treatment I had surgery Nov 26. All is well now and I feel better already. Now healing from the surgery then I should be back to myself!

  10. Freda Goulet

    How are you doing? I hope you are feeling better and are on the mend by now. You won’t forget where you spent this birthday! Hugs, Aunt Freda

    • Turned out to be a crappy way to spend a birthday, but the best gift I ever could get…. my health. At least the surgery was the day after my birthday. Originally they thought it would be ON my birthday.

  11. Its never ‘fun’ to be sick but seriously challenging if in an unfamiliar environment. Wishing you well for happy healthy full recovery!

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