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Hospital ready to help ailing expats go home

2009. 27 November

by Cai Wenjun
( Punan Hospital - the city's only hospital equipped with special teams to escort sick expatriates back to their home countries - is offering language training and perfecting service procedures in preparation for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Meanwhile, five hospitals - Ruijin, Renji, Shuguang Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Shanghai No. 9 People's Hospital and Shanghai East Hospital - have been designated to provide Expo medical services for patients from home and abroad who need to be treated here.

Local hospitals seldom escort sick or injured people back to home countries; such services are usually handled by International SOS, a patient transportation company.

But spurred by the needs of some Japanese patients, Punan Hospital launched patient escort services eight years ago. So far it has reached cooperation agreements with more than 40 expatriate medical insurance companies and has transported around 120 patients.

Hospital official Yin Zhifa said yesterday that Punan has some 20 doctors and nurses from a wide range of departments. An escort group, which usually consists of a doctor and a nurse experienced in the patient's disease and condition, can be organized in three to four hours.

"We also have sent our team to 12 provinces and autonomous regions to pick patients up and take them back to home countries," he said. "Though we are not a designated hospital, we will also remain on standby as the nearest hospital to the Expo site in Pudong New Area. We have received and treated 18 expatriate patients, who came to Shanghai for Expo pavilion construction."