If you are planning to travel to China, here are some China travel medical info (as of March 2019).
BEFORE YOU GO
They are not required for travel to China except for travelers arriving from or via an infected area. Travelers arriving from or via an infected area must hold a valid certificate of vaccination/inoculation. However, it is always a good idea to be vaccinated for your routine vaccines including MMR, Polio, and seasonal flu shot before travelling. Moreover, according to the Chinese medical authority, all the travellers are recommended to be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. As health requirements change without notice, please check with your local public health department for current required or recommended vaccinations/inoculations. If you are planning to try street foods and drinks, we suggest that you consult your doctor about recommended inoculations. The restaurants are usually rated in 3 categories in China in terms of safety, so make sure to check the ratings when choosing where and what to eat.
In some areas of China, Western medicines and medical items are not readily available. Therefore, traveling with your necessary medicine on your China tours is really essential. You may bring your prescription drugs to China and be sure to pack them in your carry-on luggage if possible. Be sure that the medication is clearly marked with a pharmacy label and doctor's instructions. Try to anticipate what might need on the trip and bring an adequate supply for your entire tour. Since brand names in China can be different from those used in Western hemisphere and other countries, ask your doctor or pharmacist for the generic name for your prescription drug in case you need a refill while in China.
As for over-the-counter medicine, although most Western medicines are available in China, we strongly suggest that you bring common nonprescription medicine with you--e.g., aspirin, cold relief products, anti-diarrheals, laxatives, etc. If you have insurance coverage for medical expenses and require medicines or medical attention while abroad, keep all receipts since most insurance carriers honor claims for such expenses.
Get a dental check-up prior to your trip. No one wants to endure a toothache while on vacation (especially on an airplane where cabin pressure can cause severe pain). Take precautions by bringing dental necessities.
To sum it up, before leaving for your trip to China, please do:
Talk to the doctor and discuss all the medications that you need to bring.
Carry a letter from the doctor indicating what the medicines are, doses, and stating that it is for your own personal use.
Ask for a duplicate supply of all essential prescription medicines and carry these in your carry-on bag.
Leave the medicine in its original packaging with clear label with your name and dosage instructions.
Get a letter from the doctor and explain why you need to carry such quantities if you intend to travel with large quantities of medicine.
Pack needles and syringes that are sealed and sterile if you have to inject your medication with your own preferable ones.
Purchase a travel medical insurance. We cannot emphasize enough about it. Crazier things happened before, so make sure to be protected. Our favorite travel insurance is World Nomads for their coverage policy and easiness to purchase. You can request a quote from World Nomads in the box below.
Medical Care system:
The most common maladies afflicting travelers in China are respiratory problems such as head colds, bronchial conditions, and sore throats. Diarrhea and constipation are also common. If you are prone to any of these problems, the easiest solution would be bringing OTC medications with you. However, if your conditions need attention of professionals, first step would be notifying your tour leader, travel insurance company and find a suitable hospital/doctor. It is relatively easy to see an English speaking doctor at international hospitals if you are in one of the major cities. Usually international hospitals are much more expensive than local hospital, due to the overall service quality and additional services offered, such as VIP section and English speaking staff. Therefore, it is vital to purchase an international travel insurance before you go on any adventure. Here are a short list of some of the best international hospitals in China.
Should you become severely ill and require immediate hospitalization, medical attention is available for emergencies throughout China. Major hospitals have special wards reserved exclusively for foreigners as well. Both Western and Chinese medicines are available. Overall, Chinese physicians are well trained- many Chinese physicians attended foreign medical schools and earned their internships at foreign medical facilities--and their diagnostic techniques are generally sophisticated and up-to-date. In case of medical or any kind of emergency, your tour leader should be notified as soon as possible so that he/she can assist you in the process.
Caution: Rh-negative blood type is extremely rare in China. Thus, persons with Rh-negative blood type should consult their physician for advice before departing for China.
In general, wheelchair accessibility is not great in China, unless you are in the major metropolitan cities. It is easier to nagivate in hotels, malls and airports, but things get tricky real fast once you hit restaurants, shops and other attractions. Most travel agencies will be able to organize a pleasant trip for travellers with wheelchair. Simply advise your China tour specialist of this need in advance of booking a tour.