*Warning – the following post is about disease, hospital and sex related themes*
Anytime I travel I always assume that nothing will go wrong with my health and that insurance is always a scam.
However only weeks into my stay in Shanghai I participated in some very risky and stupid sexual activities and not long after felt some very tingly sensations in my loins.
The first place I went after feeling these sensations was a nameless Chinese hospital I’d spotted on my way to work.
The first thing I noticed when walking into the lobby was the enormous amount of people and the dark muted colours of the walls and peeling linoleum. Unlike in Australia, general practitioners do not work in their own offices here and can only be found within the large, dimly lit and crowded caverns of the country’s hospitals.
Once I found my way to the front counter I joined a lengthy line to speak with one of the women working the front desk.
The receptionist I spoke with had a very limited grasp of English so using mostly gestures and sign language that included pointing to my genitals, I convinced her to give me an appointment with the relevant doctor.
I had to pay the receptionist 22 RMB and was given a hospital charge card for my procedures to be billed to.
After lots of aimless walking around and misreading signs I stumbled my way into the infection wing of the hospital and joined the many other sick and infected people waiting for their number to be called to see one of the three infection doctors.
After an hour of waiting my turn finally came and I finally got to see the doctor, however I was in for a rude shock when the doctor told me that he wouldn’t see me as I wasn’t Chinese, he told me that I had to go to a foreigners hospital across the street. This was a pretty surprising thing to be told, but I didn’t really know what to say so I just left and tried to find my way back outside.
I went across the street to be treated by the foreigners hospital and was told by the receptionist that I needed a specific level of insurance to be treated there (a level I do not possess) so I went back to the Chinese hospital.
After finding my way back to the doctor’s office in the original hospital and being sufficiently brazen with the other patients trying to elbow past me I (on my knees) convinced the doctor to see me despite not being Chinese.
Begging seemed to have worked in convincing the doctor into seeing me but strangely he wasn’t interested in seeing my junk, he instead ordered me to get my urine tested and charged my card.
This was then followed by me meandering around the dozen or so levels of the hospital until I found the urinalysis lab and was given a cup and vial and shown a bathroom.
Once in my toilet stall I realized I was expected to pee into the tiny dixie cup then pour the contents into a vial so thin it’s only other use could be to hold a single pencil or no more than 4 needles.
5 minutes and a whole lot of mess later I handed the skinny open vial of urine over to the lab technician and waited half an hour for the results to show up on a vending machine in the lobby.
Using my charge card I accessed a large screen of nonsense on the vending machine that I was able to print and take to the hospital pharmacy. The pharmacist looked at the nonsense paper and handed me 12 boxes of drugs and gave me some instructions for their use, luckily he explained that I only had a non serious lil sum sum (yeast related) and not a deadly sexual infection.
I did however feel unsatisfied that I was completely OK so I decided that I should also go to a sexual health clinic, not to mention start making better choices to boot..