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The Big Guide to Health Check-ups in Shanghai

Find out what's going on under the hood...
2020-09-09 12:00:00

Health is something many of us take for granted. We shouldn't. Starting from around age 30, doctors say we should be doing an annual health check-up — especially those who have a history of illness in their family.

"Many diseases do not present obvious symptoms in their earliest stages, including common diseases like high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, and cancer," says Dr. Aileen Wang, Internal Medicine physician of Health Management Center at Jiahui Health. "Once a patient experiences symptoms that lead them to visit a doctor, they could already be in a late-stage version of the disease or have developed related complications. Regular physical examinations can detect these 'silent killers' early."

Aside from having regular check-ups, it is also good to have a physician who is familiar with your medical history, according to Dr. Lida Farid, Family Physician at ParkwayHealth. "Research has shown that persons who were connected to a specific clinician receive higher rates of preventive services leading to lesser incidence of illness and mortality."

What Does a Health Check-Up Look For?

This is important info, but if you already know, skip down to the next section where we tell you where you can get a check-up.

The basics normally include measuring height and weight (to keep track of BMI), taking blood pressure (high indicates a risk of heart disease, low can cause dizziness, fainting, etc.), and blood tests to check for diseases like anemia, infection, and cancer. Urinalysis (urine) tests detect kidney disease, diabetes etc.), electrocardiograms check heart rhythm, and chest x-rays can help pneumonia, heart failure, lung cancer, tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and lung tissue scarring (fibrosis). These check-ups don't usually test for STIs though — find out more about how and where to do that here.

Once you begin searching for signs of cancer — 'tumor markers,' substances found in higher-than-normal levels in the blood, urine, or tissues — things get expensive. Premium prices do also get you all sorts of extras like food allergen tests, cholesterol levels, tests for rheumatism (arthritis). Some tests may be unnecessary — check with your healthcare provider to see which package is suitable for your age, health concerns, and family history.

There are also sex-specific tests; men might get an ultrasound to check for prostate cancer, which some doctors recommend starting at 40, others at 50. Gynecological tests for women could include: a pap smear to check for cervical cancer (recommended for women aged 21+); test for HPV, usually done together with a pap smear test; a wet mound (generally only performed if vaginitis or genital inflammation is present), a mammogram x-ray to check for breast cancer (recommended for women aged 40+), and a breast ultrasound to scan for lumps, cysts or tumors.

The price you pay depends on the package you choose and how much you or your insurance provider are willing to pay — the more you check for, the more kuai you're gonna have to cough up. The prices range dramatically: a bare basics check-up at Shanghai Renai Hospital, designed to fulfill the bare minimum work visa requirements, can cost you as little as 220rmb. The full parade of tests at Yosemite can cost 15,000rmb+. It's not cheap. But, your body... you're not getting a backup. Gotta treat this one right.

Special disclaimer: we are not doctors or medical professionals. We've just spoken to some. Absolutely check with a doctor about what check-up is right for you — no two bodies are exactly alike.

Where You Can Go For a Health Check-Up

Both international/local private clinics and public hospitals offer checkups, to varying degrees of comfort and language options. Almost all have arrangements for direct billing to your insurance; if your plan covers the annual check that is. Don't have insurance? Think about getting it.

International Hospitals/Clinics

Jiahui Health 嘉会医疗

Cost: 3,500/5,000rmb
Results: 10-14 business days for the full report. Results can be expedited for special circumstances
Locations: Jiahui International Hospital in Xuhui, clinics in Jing'an and Yangpu.

One of the big international daddies of Shanghai healthcare options, Jiahui, offers offers tailored packages catering to different genders and age groups. The Men's package is 3,500rmb for males under 40 and 4,000rmb for those over 40. It covers a comprehensive range of tests inluding basic examination, ophthalmology assesments, and laboratory tests like a complete blood count, liver and kidney function tests and checks for hepatitis as well as a lipid panel to see where your cholesterol is at, also for cancer screening and more.

For the womens packages, the price is slightly higher, 4,500rmb for females under 40 and 5,000rmb for those over 40. Women who have not had intercourse will undergo a transabdominal pelvic ultrasound. Additionally, for women over 40, specific tests like bilateral breast ultrasound and mammography are only available at certain locations. It's important to note that chest CT scans (included in the package for those over 40) can only be done at Jiahui International Hospital due to the availability of CT equipment there.

Additional items not included in all packages are CT scans, transabdominal prostate ultrasounds, carbohydrate antigen 19-9 tests, and endoscopies. However, a 20% discount is offered on these items according to your own needs.

Unlike some of the other options, check-ups here are a little less extensive but they do come with a meal (after the test), free parking, a medical report, and a health manager follow-up. It's also worth mentioning that Jiahui has a HUGE 500-bed hospital, if your check-up leads to a need to stay overnight.

ParkwayHealth 百汇医疗

Cost: 2,500-6,500rmb(for clinics) 4,800-15,800rmb (basic package for hospital)
Results: 5 business days

Parkway is a go-to if you want an expat-friendly check-up experience and calm waiting rooms. If you live in Pudong and can't be bothered to trek to Puxi, there's even a clinic in Jinqiao. They have three classes of check-ups to choose from, depending on gender.

The Essential package at 2,500rmb offers 21 basic tests including lab and radiology tests, urinalysis, complete blood count, kidney/liver function, lipid panel, EKG, and chest x-ray. For women, this package includes a pap smear.

In addition to the tests covered in the basic option, the Executive package (4,500rmb) also includes a test for arthritis, blood sugars, screening for four tumor markers, a thyroid/prostate ultrasound for men, and a HPV/pelvic ultrasound for women.

The Deluxe option at 6,500rmb includes all that plus tests for 10 tumor markers, bone density study, carotid artery ultrasound and Homocysteine.

The Health Management Center of Parkway Shanghai Hospital has been operated since 2023 ,and is composed of a team of professional doctors with many years of clinical experience. According to the health status of customers, personalized physical examination plans are formulated to ensure comprehensive physical examination results and recommendations. The Health Management Center has a variety of group check-ups and individual check-ups packages to choose from, and seamlessly connects the post-check-up medical needs

SinoUnited Health 曜影医疗

Cost: 999-12,800rmb
Results: 3-4 business days
Classic health screening packages are vailable for all clinics ,
Elite health screening is only available for hispotal
Painless gastrointestinal endscopy screening is avilable for the hopitand and Huangpu Riverside clinic

SinoUnited Health is a high-quality medical a leading medical service provider based in Shanghai. Two distinctions are that this brand of international healthcare was started by physicians, and has since opening, experienced rapid growth to now having 1 hospital and 7 clinics in Shanghai.

SinoUnited Health offers a diverse array of physical examination packages tailored to individual needs. Among these options is the Basic Health Screening Package, priced at 999 RMB, offering comprehensive health screening covering essential tests such as complete blood count, urinalysis, liver/kidney function, thyroid assessment, diabetes screening, lipid profile, and electrolyte levels. Recommended for annual use, this package includes medical consultation and is designed to ensure thorough assessment and early detection of health issues. Upgrading to the 2,488 RMB package adds abdominal ultrasound, chest X-ray, and EKG. The premium package, priced at 4,988 RMB, covers nearly all tests tailored for either males or females, but excludes carotid artery ultrasound and lung LDCT.

For those seeking advanced health management and preventive care, SinoUnited Health offers the Elite Health Screening Package at 12,800 RMB. This premium program includes health screening, access to the Greenland Digital Health Management Program, and an MRI plain scan. Led by a high-quality, multi-disciplinary medical team, this package integrates cutting-edge diagnostic technology with preventive medicine to provide exceptional services aimed at enhancing health and preventing disease progression.

Additionally, SinoUnited Health provides the Painless Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Screening Package, priced starts from 4,680rmb. Recommended for individuals aged 40 and above, this package offers comprehensive screening for gastrointestinal health. With a focus on early detection and minimally invasive treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, patients receive thorough screening services and luxurious accommodations at the VIP Health Management Center of SinoUnited Hospital, ensuring convenience and comfort during their procedure and recovery.

MediLink Bainuo Clinic 上海中间带医疗·百诺门诊部

Cost: 1,500-5,000rmb
Results: 3-4 business days
Locations: Jing'an Jinqiao

This western-style, English-speaking clinic based in Jing'an offers one of the most cost-effective health check-up options and comparatively more tests for your money in the more premium packages.

The basic package, priced at 1,500 RMB, covers a comprehensive range of examinations, including 6 basic exams and 17 lab tests, such as lung, liver, and kidney tests, urine analysis, ultrasound, X-ray, and diabetic screening, among others. Notable exclusions from this package are the Hepatitis test, CT scan, Immunoglobulin test, HCY test, and HPV test for women's screening.

The Premier Health package, priced at 2,000 RMB, offers similar coverage to the basic package with additional tests including HBA1C for diabetic screening, FPSA for tumor markers, and three additional items for the ultrasound test.

The VIP package, priced at 5,000 RMB, includes all tests, even those not covered by other packages such as CT scans, Immunoglobulin tests, and Cardio Doppler tests. Additionally, regardless of the package chosen, complimentary breakfast is provided.

Shanghai Sky Medical Center 上海和德门诊部

Cost: 1,500-7,500rmb
Results: 3 days

Shanghai Sky Medical Center offers a welcoming and upscale healthcare experience, featuring both International doctors and local experts who provide top-quality care in a comfortable setting. With six different check-up options tailored to diverse needs, Shanghai Sky Medical Center ensures thorough and personalized healthcare services. Located conveniently in one accessible location, it provides a reassuring environment where patients can receive premium care from a team of experienced professionals

which can all be customized to your needs: the cheapest option, Package A (1,500rmb) provides 11 tests including a physical exam, complete blood count, blood sugar levels, liver/kidney function tests, urine routine, electrocardiogram and chest X-ray.

The mid-range option, Package D (2,500rmb) includes everything from Package A plus tests for Hep B, rheumatism, and lipid profiles, a pelvis sonograph, and a few tumor markers.

If you bump up your budget to 7,500rmb, you get 37 tests, four extra tumor markers, a mammography/prostate ultrasound, pap smear, and a 2D echocardiography in color, to check your heart's rhythm while also showing how its chambers and valves are pumping blood.

Shanghai United Family Hospital 上海和睦家医院

Cost: 2,800/4,800rmb
Results: 7 business days, longer for more complex testing
Locations: Hospitals in Hongqiao and Pudong, clinics in Changning, Minhang and Huangpu

Shanghai United Family Hospital has been around since 1997 and its interiors are VIP-level comfy. It's arguably best known for its specialty in prenatal care. Check-ups here are split into two tiers: the basic package covers most of the tests you would get from other hospitals, including liver, kidney, and thyroid function, test for diabetes, urinalysis, chest x-ray, and abdominal ultrasound.

The hospital's comprehensive package includes all of this plus screening for five gender-specific tumor markers and an ultrasound of head/neck soft tissues. You can also take advantage of a 50% discount on screenings if you opt for them on the same day, but only cash pay is accepted.

Nice bit of flexibility available here: you can add on additional tests that aren't part of the package a la carte (prices range from 480-7,800rmb depending on the procedure), such as a colonoscopy with sedation (suitable to those aged 50+), stool for colorectal cancer screening, a CT scan, prostate ultrasound, CT Thorax for lung screening (recommended for heavy smokers), HPV, PAP smear, mammogram, or breast ultrasound.

Yosemite 优仕美地巨富里医院

Cost: 2,200-15,500rmb
Results: 7 business days or more
Locations: Hospital in Jing'an, clinic in Pudong

The first thing you notice Yosemite is its modern interiors and kid-friendly waiting areas. The basic and mid-range check-ups here are comparable price-wise and even offer more than some of the other international clinics.

The basic option 2,200rmb entry-level package alone covers 19 tests, including physical and regulatory examinations, a complete blood count and diabetes screening, lipid panel, kidney/liver function,urinalysis, Chest X-ray and upper abdominal ultrasound. A step up to the 5,500rmb would also fling in screening for six tumor markers, pancreatic/thyroid test, HCY, CA199 /Cyfra11/CA125(females)/, HPV tests, and thyroid and breast ultrasounds.

BUT the premium level check-up is super expensive, clocking in at a whopping 15,500rmb. This VVIP, gold-plated check has all of the above tests plus a carotid artery ultrasound, echocardiogram, chest CT, an upper GI endoscopy, a colonoscopy (under anesthesia), and a skin cancer screening. Whether this justifies the price though, our jury's still out.

Public Local Hospitals/Private Local Clinics

Boai Hospital上海博爱医院

Cost: 700-5,500rmb
Results: 3 days by collection, 7 days by mail

Boai is your great budget option, located opposite the Shanghai Library metro station. Waiting areas are cleaner and more modern than most other public hospitals, though you'll have to speak a bit more Chinese (or cajole a Chinese-speaking friend) during your check-up. Might be worth it: Boai is unique in that its starting package is one of the few basic-level offers in Shanghai where the available tumor markers are all included at the cheapest price (13 including bone metabolism). This check-up also includes the usual suspects — urinalysis, liver function, blood glucose etc. — breast/prostate ultrasounds, a carotid ultrasound, an electrocardiogram, chest CT, lung function test, and gynecological tests for women.

Opt for the 5,500rmb option, you will get tests for hypertension, anemia, and diabetes, a stomach ultrasound a color echocardiography, and a brain and head CT (not commonly offered as part of check-up packages). you could book the appointment from their mini program 上海博爱医院

Huashan Hospital 华山医院

Cost: 1,950-13,600rmb
Results:14 business days

Huashan Hospital is one of Shanghai's best public hospitals. They are also the only one on this list that doesn't offer direct billing with insurance companies. Bummer. If the idea of visiting public hospitals sounds daunting, it's worth mentioning that most doctors in Shanghai (though often not nurses/reception staff) can speak English due to their education. There is also an international division if you speak absolutely zero Chinese.

At Huashan, there are several packages available to cater to individual needs. The basic option around 1,950rmb covers 15 tests, like blood tests, urinalysis, liver/kidney function, as well as screening for five tumor markers, an electrocardiogram, and abdominal ultrasound. One level up, package A (around 3,600rmb), offers five more tumor markers, thyroid markers, a CT scan, and HPV tests for women.

The VIP check-up is 13,600rmb. It includes a comprehensive allergy screening, a test for HIV and RPR, an MRI scan, a carotid artery ultrasound, and breast/gynecology ultrasounds — available for married women only.

As it is a public hospital, be aware that wait times can be long, even with an appointment from their wechat official account 华山医院空中医院

Shanghai Renai Hospital 上海仁爱医院

Cost: 220-7,080rmb
Results: 7-10 business days

The international wing of Shanghai Renai Hospital is an affordable, western-style healthcare option and its waiting area is on point with what you get at an international clinic. Not all of the doctors can speak English, but the assisting nurses and majority of the reception staff can.

The hospital has limited appointments each day so booking in advance is required. Over the phone, we were told that unmarried women may need to inform the doctor of their marital status before going into any gynecology exams. We're not sure why your marital status would be an issue but there we go. or they mean women who have never had intercourse shoud inform the doctor.

Many variations of health check-up packages available here, starting from as little as 220rmb (the ‘business professional' basic package) — which apparently covers everything required for your work visa purposes. Packages one and two are fairly wallet-friendly at 280/400rmb for men and unmarried women. These check-ups offer 50+ tests including radiology and electrocardiograms.

If you opt for the top package (7,080rmb for men/, 7,380rmb for women) they include 82 items like tests blood glucose levels, screenings for female reproductive cancer, an MRI, gastroscopy, a TCM analysis, and more. making an appointment from their wechat official account 上海仁爱医院体检中心


For more info on healthcare options in Shanghai, visit our Health & Wellness Directory.