Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Adventures in Chinese Health Care

In order to live as an expat in China, one has to go through a physical exam administered by the Chinese government.  I have been dreading this physical since the minute our Real Estate agent mentioned it in our itinerary for this week.  So today we took a quick break in the great house hunt to get poked and prodded by Chinese doctors.

This is the sign for the health clinic.  I was not scared at all...

This is an AIDS prevention sign that was hanging in the waiting room.  Immature Anne could not stop laughing.  Take a closer look at the picture and you will see why.

When we arrived at the clinic, I needed to get 4 pictures taken.  I am thinking the government would like to have them in reserve in case I get arrested for some reason. 
This is my medical mug shot.

Anyhow, the whole process was kind of like going through customs and immigration…scary and extremely efficient.

The Chinese nurses had me get changed into a robe, and then I scurried from room to room to get tested for
1)   Weight
2)   Hypertension (Blood Pressure)
3)   Overall Health, Pneumonia, Bronchitis, etc.  (The doctor listened to my heart, looked in my eyes with a penlight, and used the same light to look at my ears and nose.  Not in my ears and nose, but at my ears and nose.)
4)   Heart Abnormalities (EKG).  FYI, they don’t use the little electrodes like we do in the states, they have these metal clips and suction cups that they clip to your leg, arm, and chest. I felt a bit like Frankenstein for a minute or two there.
5)   Hepatitis, HIV, Liver Function, and heavens knows what else.  (Blood Test)  (The Chinese government must have a HECK of a DNA library if they do this to anyone who will be living there over a year.)
6)   Liver and Kidney functioning (Ultrasound of both.)
7)   Vision.  (I had to tell the doctors the directions of the letters on an eye chart, and was tested for color blindness.  I know I could be a burden to the Chinese government if I was color blind.)
8)   Lung Health (X Ray)

All of these tests would have taken days to complete in the US, but not in China.  I was able to complete the exam in 15 minutes!!!  You gotta love assembly line health care!!