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[How To]: Book Public Hospitals

Bookmark this guide in case you want to make visiting a public hospital a tad easier. Read on, to learn how to do book your next hospital visit online.
2023-11-20 09:00:00

Visiting a public hospital in Shanghai can be quite a hassle. It's far more convenient if you can schedule an appointment online ahead of time to avoid those long, seemingly endless waits. Sometimes, even with a prior appointment, you might still find yourself waiting for an hour or more, simply because there's an overwhelming number of patients and a shortage of doctors. Nevertheless, making that appointment in advance is still a smart move.

Nowadays, many hospitals have their designated channels, such as their WeChat public accounts, mini programs, or official apps. For foreigners, it's often more convenient to schedule appointments through third-party services like Alipay because many hospitals only accept Chinese citizens' ID cards through their official channels.

Here's how you can book an appointment at a public hospital using your smartphone:

Open the Alipay app

Open your Alipay app and enter '医疗健康 (yi liao jian kang)' in the search bar.

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Make your appointment

On the following page, select '预约挂号 (yu yue gua hao)' to schedule your doctor's appointment.

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Select the public hospital

On the following page, you'll find a list of the prominent public hospitals in Shanghai, and you can choose from there. For instance, I'll choose '华山医院 (Huashan Hospital)' as it's one of the top public hospitals in Shanghai, and its downtown location is quite convenient.

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Enter the patient's information

If you haven't used this feature before, you'll need to enter your personal information first. Click the "添加就诊人" (Enter the patient's information) button to proceed to the next step. If you've used this feature previously, your information should already be saved, and you can skip the steps for adding your information.

On the next page, there will be a privacy agreement. Check the box and click "确认 (Confirm)" to proceed to the next page.

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Enter your passport information

On the following page, you'll come across a section where you can select your "证件类型" (ID card type). For Chinese citizens, it's straightforward - you can stick with the default setting, "身份证" (ID card). However, for foreigners, please choose "护照" (passport).

After that, you need to enter additional information on this page. The first line will ask you, "是否本人" (if you are making a doctor's appointment for yourself). Please note that even if you are making an appointment for yourself, you should still select "否" (no), as the "是" (yes) option is currently only applicable to Chinese citizens. This choice won't affect the validity of your appointment, as long as you enter all your information correctly.

For the other details, input the following information as you normally would: "证件号码" (enter your passport number), "地址" (your city and district of residence), "地址详情" (your specific address), and "手机号" (your phone number).

As for the last line of information, "卡类型" (card type), just choose "自费卡" (self-pay) unless you possess a Chinese health insurance card, in which case you should select "医保卡" (medical insurance card).

Finally, once you've completed all the steps mentioned above, click on the red button labeled "验证信息" (Confirm) at the lower center of your screen to save your information.

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Make an appointment

Return to the hospital's homepage that you've selected, then select "门诊预约" (outpatient service appointment). Next, check the box and click "确认" (Confirm) on the following page.

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Select the hospital department

On the following page, you'll need to select the specific hospital branch you wish to visit. Typically, you can choose "总院" (the main/general hospital), which is located downtown and is the choice for most people. Usually, you'd only need to choose "普通门诊" (regular outpatient service) if you don't have any complex or unusual medical conditions.

Now, let's consider a scenario where you're experiencing discomfort in your ears and need a medical check-up. In this case, you should select "耳鼻喉科" (otolaryngology department) to address your ear-related concerns.

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Select an available time slot

On this page, you'll need to pick the date you'd like to schedule your doctor's appointment. If the "可约" (available) button is displayed in red, you can click it to secure your appointment. However, if the button isn't red, it means that the date is already fully booked. In such cases, you can still visit the hospital on that day, but you'll have to go to the reception desk and make an on-site appointment, which might entail a long wait.

Once you've clicked the "可约" (available) button, you'll be required to confirm your appointment. Under "是否复诊" (Is it your subsequent visit), you can choose between "初诊" (your first visit to a doctor) or "复诊" (subsequent visit).

Once all details are confirmed, click "确认预约" (Confirm) to proceed to the next step. In the following pop-up windows, continue clicking the red button to confirm.

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Don't forget to pay!

After clicking all the confirmation buttons, you'll be directed to a page with a red "立即支付" (pay now) button in the lower right corner. Click it to make a 25 RMB payment using Alipay within 15 minutes, and there you have it – your appointment is set! Make sure to arrive at the hospital on time for your doctor's visit.

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This How-To guide is work in progress, we are constantly updating it as we receive new information. We rely on readers like you (yes YOU). If you find this guide useful please help us improve it by adding comments in each step or by clicking the "Verify" link if you find the information provided to be correct.