Poking and Prodding
Bright and early last Monday morning, Adam and I (and the kids) hopped in a bus to be driven to a hospital about an hour away in order to undergo the medical examinations needed for our resident permits.
The traffic, while quiet compared to the incessant honking of a road in India, was comparable to someplace like Toronto in terms of loudness… but with the jam-packed roads you would expect of a city with around 24 million in the metro area. An hour turned into 2 and then nearly 2.5 until we arrived at the hospital, where we hopped off and then went and stood in a queue. As we’d left at 7:30, by the time we got inside and all started to get lined up, we realised that it was probably best to schedule this for later morning or early afternoon to avoid the rush-hour traffic.
The physical examinations are required as part of the residential permit application process, and can be required for successfully receiving a visa for China as well. We had all the requisite things performed in India before we left, as did many of Adam’s colleagues. This turned out to have been great, because when we arrived, some people found out that all of their paperwork was sufficient and didn’t need to be re-checked; some people found that they needed one or two portions re-done.
That was the case for Adam and I, so we each had to go to Room 104 and Room 201 for blood draws and lung ultrasounds (for TB). Some people had to have other things done; it all depended on what was deemed acceptable or not by the person handling the registration. I imagine if you’d had none of the tests done (or needed to re-do them all) and needed to go to each room, it would have been even more time-consuming. As it was – after registration, we received slips stating what rooms we had to go to, and then we went to the rooms, handed over our paperwork, and were either gooped up in gel or stabbed with a needle. Only one thing is done in each room, so you can go room to room to room as needed and in whatever order you want to.
For anyone who may need a physical to come to China, if you can arrange to do it in your home country before you depart, I’d strongly suggest it since it will allow for less time in the medical facility when you arrive. That said, if your employer/school says to do it when you arrive – you can get it done, but it will take a fair bit of time to go through all the steps.