Getting sick in China

Everyone gets sick from time to time. This is especially true in Beijing with its pollution(污染), huge population(人口), and active nightlife(夜生活) scene. So what do you do when you get sick in China?

There are pharmacies(药店) in Beijing on every block but most of the pharmacies do not have staff who speaks English. While acting out your symptoms(症状) may or may not work, I would recommend(建议) learning some of these words and phrases so that you can get the medicine(药) you need to get better.

The Basics

If your Chinese level is really low, you can point to a certain body part and say:

Cold and Flu(感冒和流行感冒)

If you do not want Chinese medicine, you can say:

I do not want Chinese medicine. I want Western medicine.

Many people take both Western medicine and Chinese medicine. Western medicine covers() the problem while Chinese medicine targets the problem. Chinese medicine treats the problem while Western medicine makes you feel better. It's worth a try to take both.

If you do not feel any better, I would recommend you go to one of Beijings international hospitals(国际医院). If you do not have complete coverage from your health insurance(医疗保险), I would recommend you go to one of the better Chinese hospitals in the city. China Japan Friendship Hospital(中日友好医院) is a good hospital in Beijing and it has an international ward(国际病房) where the staff can speak English. It is cheap(便宜) and clean(干净) and wait times are very short.

Kristen Carusos is from Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. She graduated from Kennesaw State University with a major in International Affairs and a minor in French. She studied abroad in China for the first time in Shanghai in 2010 and again in 2011 at Beijing Language and Culture University. She graduated and moved to Beijing in 2012 and has been studying Chinese since then. She works in the Marketing Department at the Sinology Institute.