I’m not one to worry too much about going to hospital. After all, of the 3 times I’ve broken my collar-bone, I’ve only been to A&E on the same day once. So when I became ill earlier this week, going to hospital was the last thing on my mind. However, as valuable as it seems I am (to my employer at least) I was “strongly” advised to visit the Dadong Peoples Hospital (大东区人民医院) on my street.
Having been rudely awakened by my indescribably happy Assistant teacher, Happy. Yes that’s right… Literally Happy by name, happy by nature. I was chaperoned to the nearest hospital in an effort to determine what was wrong with me. My symptoms included swollen lymph glands, heavy breathing, lethargy, and a general aching feeling. Now I know what was wrong with me, having had Glandular fever last year, I recognised this was simply a throat infection. Happy on the other hand was absolutely sure I was wrong!
“Alright Dr Happy… You’re the boss!” I thought sarcastically.
So we entered the hospital, a building I pass every day, but rarely notice as much more than the big green building on the right. You’d be forgiven for not recognizing this as a hospital. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself…
I’ve been to one other hospital in China for my medical exam. That was, I’m guessing, to make sure I didn’t give any of my nasty British germs to the children. During this exam I basically just walked from room to room for each test. You have blood taken and move on, get a chest x-ray and move on, pee in a cup and move on. This is fantastically quick, if lacking in any form of privacy, but for a medical exam where nothing is likely to be wrong you can take it on the chin.
I wasn’t quite expecting this exact same process for an actual ailment! But that is exactly what I got!
After entering the hospital the first thing you do is pay 4RMB to see a doctor.
Of course after actually paying to see a doctor (not normal for us Brits. NHS ftw!), even if it is only 40p, you expect the VIP treatment. Instead, with 3 other patients in the room, the doctor concentrated on one minor symptom (pain in my lower back) and sent me immediately off for a urine test (no pictures of this I’m afraid).
9RMB and one pee in a cup later I’m back in the doctor’s room, trying to pick up on the few words of Mandarin I do understand. This leads to a barrage of trips to various test rooms, stopping off each time to pay the appropriate fee. After every one, returning to the doctor’s office to be told absolutely nothing.
In all honesty, the doctor may have figured it out early on. With my lack of language skills however, I was relying on Happy to translate. Happy knows best of course, and decided to continually tell me “It’s ok! It’s ok!”, “No you don’t need that test!”, “The doctor thinks so, but I think it’s ok!”
After having had enough of these numerous trips, Happy’s over happiness, and probably picking up a whole lot more germs just by being there; I locked Happy away in a room fool of radioactive waste and made a run for it!
Thankfully, I’m feeling much better as I sit here typing this on Sunday afternoon. This is in small part due to a fantastic Welsh victory in the Six Nations, but mainly due to the amazing job done by the staff at Dadong People’s Hospital. Thanks guys!
Ok, I lie! It’s all about Wales beating England!
P.S. Happy later escaped from her makeshift prison cell, and is now at large in Shenyang’s Dadong district, with a newly acquired radioactive level of happiness. Residents are advised to stay in their homes and a DO NOT APPROACH warning has been issued! Those who do not take this into consideration do so at their own risk!