I spent six months in the city of Dalian, China from March to September of 2015. During this time I had the opportunity to learn what daily life is like in China. I put together a series of posts that hopefully help you get a better understanding of what it would be like to live in China and know what life will be like for us once we arrive on the field.
How are the medical facilities and medical care in Dalian?
As of 2015, there currently is not an international hospital in Dalian. An international hospital is a hospital that operates according to modern standards of medicine. Its healthcare would be of much better quality than an average hospital. Also, the doctors usually use Western standards of medicine and are fluent in English. These hospitals while offering excellent service are often quite expensive. The closest international hospital is in Beijing though plans have been made for an international hospital to open up in Dalian.
The normal public hospitals in China are usually not up to the standards and quality that an international hospital would have though this would vary by the individual city and hospital that you go to. Hospitals outside of the major cities will probably have a much lower quality of healthcare. Some other things that make it hard for a foreigner to use a public hospital is that the staff usually only speaks minimal English, the hospital does not keep any kind of records (patients keep their own health records), patients have to provide all their own food, and the lines to see a doctor are often long. One of the benefits of the public hospitals is that they are usually very cheap.
PUBLIC HOSPITAL IN DALIAN
What if I have to take medicine on a regular basis (i.e. insulin, etc.)?
You will always need to check before coming to China to see if the medicine that you are required to take is available for you to get on a regular and cost-effective basis in China. Your best option is to have a friend in China contact a local doctor to check on the medication you need. Do not trust the information you get online as it is not always updated or entirely accurate. Insulin is available as many people in China also suffer from diabetes.
What are the pros and cons of having a baby in China?
The advantages of having a baby in China is that you do not have to spend the time and expense to travel back to your home country for the delivery. The downside of having a baby in China is that you have to have the delivery in the middle of an entirely different culture. Chinese people definitely have different ideas and procedures for pregnancy and delivery than you would experience in your home country. This could lead to many frightening and extremely uncomfortable situations. Much of this tension is alleviated if you have the baby at an international hospital, but there still may be some things that will be strange or different.