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January 16, 2010

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1st-class care at United Family

CHANGNING District offers a wide range of hospitals and clinics with first-class medical treatment.

Among them is Shanghai United Family Hospital and Clinics, a joint venture between Chindex International Inc and Changning District Central Hospital, serving both Chinese and expats. The atmosphere is warm and comforting.

Open in December 2004, doctors have seen almost 100,000 patients and delivered around 1,000 babies.

It offers direct billing to more than 20 global insurance companies, simplifying the billing process for foreign patients.

"Changning is popular among foreign communities and it is our goal to raise the district's medical service level," says Qian Weizhi, marketing manager of Shanghai United Family Hospital and Clinics.

"The one-stop medical service that we provide even makes the surrounding real estate market boom. Many expats choose to live in Changning and one of their main considerations is good medical service. We are making life more comfortable."

The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on International Accreditation, the only hospital in Shanghai with that distinction.

"The accreditation represents an ongoing commitment to the highest standards of excellence in health care," Qian says. "It's important to assure patients with the very best in care and safety."

International staff

The highly qualified staff of 500 comes from around the world. In addition to China they come from Canada, Japan, Germany and the United States. Most nurses have an overseas education and are fluent in English.

"The international staff of senior physicians are selected based not only on the excellence of their training and professional expertise but also on their passion and a genuine interest in working in a multi-cultural environment," says Qian, who used to practice as a surgeon.

"Patients can be assured of international standard care from a trained and experienced medical team using the latest equipment and international infection-control standards. The facility and staff are dedicated to providing quality, safe and effective care 24 hours a day."

The hospital has a working relationship with medical professors and consultants at local teaching hospitals, making a full range of specialists available on short notice.

"The hospital has its own culture. It pays a lot attention to patients' feelings," Qian says. "Doctors will explain to patients their condition and treatment and ways to prevent ailments. Psychologically speaking, it gives patients a home-like experience, with privacy and respect."

Appointments are necessary, reducing waiting time. Before arrival, medical records are prepared and reviewed by a doctor. Receptionists and nurses speak English.

"We respect patients' privacy and will provide an individual consultation room," says Qian. "Quiet, comfortable and fully serviced inpatient private rooms are also available."

The maternity department is well known. The five-star birthing room includes a Jacuzzi and other luxurious amenities.

Nowadays, one-third of the hospital's patients are from the Chinese mainland -- many are rich and demand high-quality medical care.

The underprivileged are not forgotten.

The hospital is active in mobilizing expats to donate blood and take part in charity programs.

The United Foundation for Children's Health is the philanthropic wing of United Family Hospitals and operates in both Shanghai and Beijing. It offers medical services to orphans and children from low-income families. Last year the foundation treated more than 200 children nationwide.

The hospital has donor-funded programs to provide ongoing medical care and a nutrition program to a rural orphanage in Henan Province. Care includes emergency treatment and surgery.

"Through volunteering for the nutrition program, I feel and know that I am making a difference and that's why I volunteer," says Barbara Licata, a registered dietician from the United States.

"Prior to our program, the infants at the orphanage were receiving watered-down goat's milk. Because of the medical issues of these children, good nutrition can make the difference between life and death."

The hospital also provided care during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the Special Olympics in 2007. It is ready to provide international standard medical services for World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

"United Family plans to build a new hospital in Pudong New Area in two years," says marketing manager Qian. "A hospital that mainly targets Chinese is part of our long-term plan."

Address: 1139 Xianxia Rd

Tel: 2216-3900


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