Let’s Get a Physical in Paradise

When we were still in Shangri-La, PM had to get a physical.  This was a fascinating opportunity to see some Chinese health-care in action.  By our standards, it seemed a little … less than we would have desired for our own care.  By Chinese standards, I think, it was pretty great.  I’ve heard some stories…

On the day we had to go, it was pouring.

Walking through the market on our way to the hospital

We walked over to the hospital complex, which consists of two large buildings across the street from each other, surrounded by a few smaller buildings.

Shangri-La Peoples' Hospital

Look at the beautiful Tibetan-design courtyard in the back!

 She needed an eye exam….

Note ubiquitous space heater in center of room. Although it was cold and rainy, all the windows were open when we came.

…and a chest x-ray for TB.  I insisted they find a lead apron for her, because I’m sure they were going to do it without one.  PM shown here with her wai-ban (foreigner expert), who made the visit go as smoothly as it could go.  And even then, it took part of two days of visits…..

No TB, anyway!

If you need a blood test, be prepared to stick your arm through a window into the lab area.  Below, PM comforts another patient while waiting her turn.


I’m used to American hospitals, where they change stuff for each patient.  Not so here in the EKG room.

Clean bedding, no; space heater, yes

I really love signs, and the hospital was full of them.  I don’t read Chinese, so I’m not sure what you are supposed to do to keep Mr. Stomach healthy and happy.

I’m pretty sure this one means that you shouldn’t throw your garbage on the floor (there was garbage on the floor), or spit on it.  Or vomit.  I can’t quite tell.

Of course, my favorite sign exhorted people not to smoke in the hospital.  Note cigarette butts on the floor.

In fact, a law was recently passed that made smoking in public places illegal.  I think it’s going to take awhile.  We left Shangri-La later that day, and spent a few cold, damp hours in the bus station.  Was it better to be by the open doors and freeze, or closer to the middle and inhale everyone’s smoke?

Our trip from Shangri-La to Lugu Lake is another story…….

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One Response to Let’s Get a Physical in Paradise

  1. ibuibulai says:

    It actually is kind of a pity we didn’t end up taking a trip down to ye old Tbetan Medicine Hospital for some acupuncture, considering I think the sheets on the beds there (at least in the acupuncture room) are changed every…..week? (one hopes.)

    Note how the cup is positioned on the space heater, potentially to warm it and its contents. Same way ppl often roast hot dogs or potatoes on space heaters. 🙂

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