Friday, 8 June 2007

The Medical Test

Yes, it's such a big deal it has capital letters :)

Without the medical test you can't get a long-term visa to stay in the country, and without that visa, well... you'd better get packing!

On the morning of Monday 14th May Mike and I set off to do our big medical. My mother also came along to help us with any translations. We had to bring our passports and 2 passport-sized photos with us.

The center is located on Jinbang Rd, near Hami Rd, in the Gubei area, which wasn't too far for us, only a quick taxi ride (although it took longer than usual being peak hour).

We were met by a young lady who were there to help us translate/interpret.

It was our 8th day in Shanghai and I had never seen so many non-Chinese people in the one place! And those that were Chinese looking (like myself) were born/bred elsewhere.

We filled in a form (and had to get my mother to write our address for us - how embarrassing. Not only did we not know it because we hadn't lived there for 24 hours yet, we couldn't write all the characters).

Then we sat around for a while before being called in to do our many and varied tests.

First we had to get all our details (from the form) recorded into the computer. They also took our photo which was stored in the computer and used to make sure we were the same person each time we did each test, so the results would be accurate and never mixed up with someone else's.

Then, we had to get changed into a one size fits all robe (which meant it was about 6 sizes too big for me!) and booties to fit over our shoes. The chinese are anal about not wearing dirty shoes inside a house, or anywhere that should be clean.

From memory there was:
* an eye test (simple eye test where you read the rows of letters, and a colour blindness test)
* height and weight recorded
* blood pressure recorded, and pulse rate
* listening to our lungs with stethoscope
* a full chest x-ray
* ultrasound of our internal organs - liver, pancreas?? not sure what exactly.
* blood tests testing for AIDS, syphilis and just a general check up.
* weird test where we had to be naked from the stomach up and they pressed on parts of our body and check our knees?? what the-?
* there may have been a temperature check but I can't remember now.

There were all these separate little rooms and it ran like clockwork. You had a piece of paper with you and they ticked each one off as you went, and then you were instructed to go into the next room. The order didn't matter.

After we finished, we had to pay around 700-750 RMB each for doing the exam. It seems like a lot of money but for all those things it's a bargain compared to Australia!

I was so glad when it was all over though. It was a particularly bad day for me to be doing it given the night before I had a mild fever and was sweating hot/cold, my pulse was beating very fast (as it turned out - 93 bpm) and I just generally felt very very unwell. I had to admit I lied and didn't tell them I had asthma - shhh!

We got our results back on Wednesday 6th June, 1 month to the day we arrived. It was a very comprehensive medical report - I've never seen anything like it before. We were both normal and healthy thank God and therefore passed the test, and could stay in the country!

No comments: