With the temperature dropping drastically and breaching zero by day and reaching negative seven or eight by night, both Ryan and Chenya are trying hard to cope. You can not last 5 minutes outside with insufficient clothing and by insufficient, I meant, nothing less than 3 layers with thick winter jacket, socks, hats or ear muffs and gloves.
Both have been coughing quite a fair lately and when Chenya's nose started running non-stop, and Ryan's coughing at night got worse, we got worried and decided to bring both of them for some medical consultation on Saturday.
When we first came for our orientation in Beijing, we were shown two medical facilities that caters mostly for foreigners and expats, one of which was the Beijing United Family Hospital.
So, we made a call in the morning to see if we could bring both of them in for a quick check. We were asked if we had made any prior appointments of which we did not. Who would make prior appointment for this kind of treatment anyway. It's not that they planned on getting sick or anything. Well, according to them, their appointment book was all full and we could bring the children in as `walk-in' but be prepared to wait. We also told that there would be a surcharge of `walking in' ! (First time, we heard that but what could we do? Bringing them in the following day which was Sunday also attract surcharge and we were not prepare to wait another two days watching the discomfort of our angels).
We were there by 1pm and were told to register the kids. The forms were several pages thick and after all the necessary paperwork is done, we were brought into this very equipped and nice waiting room to have their weights, heights and basic medical history taken by two nurses.
Barely 10 minutes later, the paedetrician who happened to be an American came in. He went through the records and some detail checks of both the children. The conclusion was both were viral and nothing serious, aggravated by the cold and dry weather. The cough was a direct result of their running nose. He prescribed one teaspoon of honey at night for Ryan and half a teaspoon for Chenya to ease their cough, saline solution to flush their nose regularly and some menthol rub for the chest. Although cough mixture was prescribed for Ryan, he was not too keen that we give that to him, unless, his cough got worse.
The consultation took a little over 25 minutes for both and we were told to get our medication at the pharmacy and make payment there.
The bill came to RMB1300 (RM650) for Ryan and RMB1200 (RM600) for Chenya, a total of approximately RMB2500 (RM1250) for both after discount!!!
And oh yes, the `walk in' surcharge is RMB220 (RM110) per person! (nicely put in the invoice as `disruptive of daily office routine' or something to that effect!
Now, we understand why our medical insurance coverage runs into millions when we signed up. If a simple COLD treatment and consultation ran up a bill of over RMB2500, can you imagine having a more serious ailment or having to go in for a surgery. And now, we are glad that we did sign up for that additional coverage.
So, two things to remember if you are ever thinking of relocating to Beijing.
Firstly, negotiate for a comprehensive and adequate medical insurance coverage with your employer or get one yourself to make sure that you are adequately covered .....OR.....
...simply do not do not get sick, because if the sickness does not kill you, the bill surely will !