China: Travel Health Information

China (the People’s Republic of China) features popular tourist destinations such as the Forbidden City, Great Wall of China, Yangtze River, Terracotta Warriors, and Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.


The standards for patient care and medical services in China may differ from your home country. China has both public and private health sectors, with the majority of healthcare practitioners working in the public sector. Healthcare in major cities meets international standards but the quality of care in rural areas can vary. Facilities in major cities typically have English speaking doctors and nurses, and there are a number of foreign-run hospitals.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in China typically require upfront payment in cash or credit card, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in China.

Pharmacies are well-stocked with essential medications, especially in major cities, but specific medications may be unavailable or difficult to find. Pharmacists generally do not speak English. Avoid buying medications from markets or unlicensed pharmacies, as fake medication can be a concern.

If you are travelling with medication, check with China's embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review China's regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.

Road safety

Traffic in China can be chaotic and roads may be in poor condition. Public transportation is widely available in major cities and is generally safe and reliable. The national seat belt law applies to all occupants of a vehicle.

Travelling to China?

Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for China. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:

Travel health planner

Need a doctor?

IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in China.

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China At A Glance

Capital: Beijing

Population: 1.379 billion

Official language: Standard Chinese

Time zone: China Standard Time (CST)

Emergency #: 120

Vaccinations required: Yes

Risk of malaria: Yes

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