Call for foreign patients' green channel
Political adviser Yang Jing is calling for a quick and more convenient green channel for expats seeking to see a doctor in Shanghai after she found problems with high costs, language barriers and cultural differences such as the need for privacy.
According to her proposal to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, data from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs showed that by the end of last year, Shanghai had the highest number of overseas residents of all cities in China and its permanent expat population was some 27 percent of the country’s total.
Yang said foreigners, especially newcomers, had problems with high costs and language barriers when seeking medical treatment.
Her proposal for a quick and convenient green channel for foreign patients would improve their health and their quality of life, she said.
This could also attract more foreign talent to live, work and start their own business in Shanghai.
Yang suggested setting up a pool of hospital staff proficient in foreign languages and a trial in local hospitals.
Signs in English and special consulting rooms should be provided at these hospitals for foreigners as well as nurses who can speak English.
Medical staff could be trained in language skills and apps providing medical services such as remote consultations could be developed to serve foreigners and cut their costs.
A fund and insurance system should be established with special social security cards issued to foreigners, according to her proposal.