United Family Healthcare (UFH) has a strong reputation of having two of the best international level hospitals in Shanghai with foreign doctors providing world-class healthcare with bilingual service. Patients from Hangzhou often visit UFH in Shanghai for advanced procedures. Now UFH has opened an outpatient clinic in the Mixc Shopping Mall to bring their high level of patient care to Hangzhou residents.
We met with Dr. Lim, originally from Malaysia, who will be the Family Medicine doctor at the United Family Hangzhou Clinic. Dr. Lim has been in China for 3 years, in Nanjing, Suzhou and Shanghai, where he has been introducing the concept of family medicine.
What kind of service does United Family Hangzhou Clinic provide?
What we do here at United Family is to provide family medicine. A Family Medicine doctor is a doctor that covers all and is the frontline for the patient. We call it cradle to rocking chair, which means our scope is to provide patient care from birth to old age. Our main duty is to integrate all the specialties and fields to try to reach a diagnosis. Whatever we can treat in the outpatient clinic, we definitely try, but anything further we have to refer to specialists and hospitals.
What is the difference between United Family and the way traditional hospitals operate?
What I see is that when locals have a need, they will go directly to the hospital and go to each department to do tests. For example, if they have a stomachache, they will blindly go to every department in the hospital to run every test possible. They will go to internal medicine, surgical, gynecology, etc. but at the end of the day they have all these results from different unconnected departments and they still do not know what their problem is. What Family Medicine provides is what we like to call a one-stop center. A family doctor has knowledge of all medical fields. If I can treat the problem, I will treat it. If I can’t treat, I can at least give a diagnosis so the patient knows where to go. A local patient is used to having many tests first and then determine the problem, but our approach is the reverse. We make a diagnosis first and then do tests to confirm it. It saves a lot of time for the patient.
What departments do you have here?
We have Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Breast Consultation, and soon we will offer Psychology services too. We can also do some minor procedures here and we have onsite laboratory, radiology, and a pharmacy as well.
Which hospitals are you affiliated with?
We have a close relationship with the majority of local tier three hospitals and some of their doctors serve as experts for our clinic to advise on consultations. For emergencies, we direct our patients to the appropriate tier three hospital for the best care. If it’s not an emergency, we usually refer patients to our United Family hospitals in Shanghai which provide the same type of care with the best continuity, such as vaccine service, all pediatric specialty service, delivery, postpartum rehabilitation, etc. We have two full service hospitals in Shanghai on both sides of the Huang Pu River.
What is the procedure if a patient wants to come in for a consultation? Can they just walk-in?
We prefer that they make an appointment, because we do need to allocate an adequate amount of time to diagnose the problem. We need time to enquire about medical history, to gather all the necessary information. Walk-ins are possible, but prepare for the fee to be higher.
Following the interview, I had a health check that went very smoothly. It’s such a comfort to have an English speaking doctor and nurse talk you through the steps and explain what they are doing.
We also stopped by to have a chat with the gynecologist. I know many expat women in Hangzhou would like to find an English speaking gynecologist and I’m happy to report that there is one at United Family Hangzhou Clinic.
Fees for an initial consultation start at 1000RMB and currently for the cash paying patient there is a promotion for an overall discount of 40% and the clinic has direct billing arrangements with many major insurance companies such as PingAn, Allianz, AIA, Europe Assistance, SOS, MSH, Aetna, Cigna, GBG, among others.
8:30am -5:30pm, Mondays – Saturdays (Closed on Sundays)
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