Five health tips for foreigners in China
1. Get the recommended vaccinations, such as diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), polio, hepatitis A and B, before leaving for China, especially those who expect to stay in China for a long duration. It's advised to get vaccinated four to six weeks before arriving in China. You can also take a first-aid kit, a supply of prescription medication, and necessary contraceptives.
2. Common ailments, such as respiratory diseases and diarrhea, should be prevented against. Children, elderly people and patients with respiratory or cardiovascular diseases should take particular care. To avoid diarrhea, use safe water for drinking, brushing your teeth and doing the dishes. Bottled, boiled, filtered, and disinfected tap water will work. Always remember to use soap, disinfectant, and paper towels as well, and wash your hands as often as possible.
3. You can find a list of public and private hospitals as well as clinics that have English speaking medical staff on the site. If your child attends an international school, they often have a small health-care center or a school nurse who keeps an eye on children's illnesses.
4. Learn about traditional Chinese medicine and find out if it fits you. Thus, you can consult the right doctor and get the sort of treatment you are most comfortable with.
5. You are advised to be accompanied by an interpreter (a friend or co-worker) at hospitals, especially if your Chinese skills are not adequate. Not all hospitals in China accept debit or credit cards, so carrying cash is a good option. Don't forget to ask for a receipt. Your insurance provider may reimburse you later on.