Getting a prescription at the Qingdao Municipal Hospital

Qingdao Expats, Joy Lewis and family are from the UK and have lived in China for 12 YEARS! Joy also studied at New Century in Tianjin in 2004.  With such expertise in Chinese, Joy offered us fellow expats a fast-track method on getting repeat prescriptions at the Qingdao Municipal Hospital and was gracious to share these details on Qingdao Expat Survival Guide.  Amazed at such detailed information on getting repeat prescriptions at the Qingdao Municipal Hospital (Chinese part), I was curious how was her Chinese SO good.  She explained that because they lived in a remote part of China for 7 years, she was forced her to learn enough Chinese to negotiate entrance into Chinese schools and the Chinese hospital system.  Her kids are in the 5th and 6th grade and go to a local Chinese school here in Qingdao.  Thank you, Joy!

Joy Lewis and family

The below steps may look a little complicated, but after the first time, you will get the hang of it!

How to get repeat prescriptions at the Qingdao Municipal Hospital:

Qingdao Municipal Hospital
5 DongHai Middle Road (18 ZhuHai Road)
青岛市市南区东海中路 5 号(珠海路 18 号)
Telephone: +86 (532) 8593-7690, 8593-7678

  1. You will need to bring your passport, bank card and hospital card.  If you have a hospital card, skip to step #3.
  2. If you don’t have a hospital card, go to the second floor and wait at this window (Cashier):

2b)  Show them this picture and this message:

Translation:  I need to get a card using my passport.



2c)  Hand over your passport and your details on a piece of paper:


2d)  Pay for the card

3) Go to this department on the 2nd floor, located across the hall from where you got the card.  

4)  Put your card into this machine in the right of the picture.  Follow these below instructions  to “book” your appointment:

4a) 挂号 Make your appointment

4b) 当日挂号 Appointment today


4c) 东院便民门诊 ‘Convenience’ Dept


4d)  开药 Write prescription


4e)  东院便民门诊开药 Write prescription at the ‘convenience’ department.


4f)  银行卡支付 Pay by bank card


4g)  Insert bank card


4h)  输入密码 Request for pin


4i)  Enter pin then click 确认 the confirm button


4j)  Remove card and appointment slip from machine.  All this to pay a whopping 1 RMB!


5) Go to the doctors office.

5a) Facing the machine, go left and turn right around the corner (right).


5b.  Wait in the queue.  The door is not closed and the queue will begin at the doctor’s desk, not at the door.  Don’t queue outside the door, even though it seems polite.  It’s just not what people do here, and people will just walk right in front of you!

Yes, everybody is in everyone’s business.

5c)  It’s your turn to see the doctor!  Hand over your hospital card and appointment slip.

5d)  Show/tell the doctor the following:

  • Tell her you need a prescription ( 我需要开这个药。)
  • The name of your medication in Chinese and English.
  • If she asks you any questions, at this point you may need to call a friend to translate.  But in advance you could have someone write as much information down:  Who first prescribed this medicine?  How long have you taken it?  What is it for?  How often do you take it?
  • She will probably ask how many pills you need.

5e) Once she has all the necessary info, the doctor will input your medication on her computer and that info will be transferred to your card.


6)  Then you need to pay for the medication.

6a) Go back to the machine you made the appointment at around the corner.

6b) Insert your hospital card.

6c) Follow on screen instructions:

6d) 缴费/充值 Pay/top up

6e) 缴费  Pay

6f) 全部缴费  pay all

6g)  确认  confirm

6h) 银行卡支付 pay with bank card

6i) Insert your bank card, pin number and confirm as before (refer to step 4f)

6j) Remove your bank card and prescription from the machine


7) Collect medication

7a) Go to the outpatient pharmacy (next to where you got your hospital card)

7b) Take a seat opposite these screens:

7c) Wait for your name to be called.  As the machine is calling names, your name may not be pronounced correctly or may be spelled out letter by letter.  Your name should also appear on the screen.  When your name reaches the top, it is your turn.

7d) Give your card and prescription to the pharmacist.  He will give you your medicine!

8) Go to Starbucks to recover!

In summary:

  • Get a hospital card
  • Make an appointment to see the doctor for the prescription
  • See the doctor
  • Pay for your prescription
  • Collect your medication
  • Celebrate for a job well done!

Feel free to ask for help too. Bare in mind you will not be alone with the doctors and may have curious onlookers!

If you want privacy, you could ask everyone to leave and shut the door, but if you don’t speak Chinese that could be a challenge!  Privacy at the doctors office is a cultural concept that you may need to forgo if you go to the Chinese hospital.

In the event that you need a sensitive examination, the the doctor would ask everyone to leave.  But for a repeat prescription,  you won’t need an examination.

The same appointment/payment system works for all outpatient departments.  Just go to the machine in the relevant dept to make the appointment.  Triage nurses are on hand to help and are generally friendly and willing to help with any questions!

Good luck!


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