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Increase in Travel to China Creating New Health and Security Risks
Date:4/23/2008

New China White Paper from MEDEX Global Group Offers Tips for Travelers

BALTIMORE, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Infectious disease, poor sanitary conditions and substandard healthcare are among the serious medical concerns found in China, according to a new white paper recently released by MEDEX Global Group, a worldwide provider of international travel, security and medical insurance.

"This year, China expects 150 million foreign tourists, which is a 14 percent increase over 2007," said Bruce Kirby, CEO of MEDEX Global Group. "This paper is intended to prepare the rapidly growing number of travelers for the unexpected by arming them with well-documented, critical health information."

"What You Should Know Before Traveling Abroad: Health and Security Risks in China" captures the results from a series of 300-point, onsite evaluations of medical care and health facilities throughout China. To compile the evaluation, MEDEX experts examined a variety of factors including the country's quality of healthcare, blood supply and disease risks. The full report is available for free download at http://www.medexassist.com/travelguides.

Overall, on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the lowest rating, MEDEX gave China a score of "4". Training for doctors and nurses may not be up to international standards, and in rural areas of China, medical care is more rudimentary than in urban areas. Hospitals may not have modern equipment or even plumbing. In fact, only 28% of the population in rural China has access to adequate sanitation facilities.

The MEDEX report offers a number of health and medical-related tips for travelers:

-- In case of emergency in China, private clinics are recommended over

public hospitals. Public hospitals are overcrowded, patients will

likely wait hours and most often payment is expected in cash and prior

to admission. Foreign health insurance plans are not accepted.

-- Ambulances are not reliable in an emergency. Private transportation,

even in an emergency, is often the fastest alternative.

-- Blood supply in China is not safe. The AIDS virus is a significant

concern in China and there is a risk of exposure to unsafe blood and

blood products.

-- Six to eight weeks before leaving for China, visit a travel clinic to

receive necessary vaccinations, including: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B,

Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies and the flu vaccine.

Upon entering China, all visitors are required to complete a Health Declaration Form to notify authorities of any existing health conditions. Travelers with certain infectious diseases may not be permitted to enter the country.

Additional details and rankings are included as part of MEDEX 360m Global Medical Monitor reports, a medical information service created in partnership with Harvard Medical International. It provides the most robust and comprehensive online medical resource available on China as well as 236 other countries and territories.

ABOUT MEDEX Global Group

MEDEX Global Group has been assisting travelers with medical and security emergencies for more than 30 years, providing international travel, security and medical support for corporations, government and humanitarian organizations, and leisure travelers. MEDEX services include everything from pre-trip intelligence and contingency planning to real-time medical case monitoring, complex emergency evacuations and virtually every contingency in between. The MEDEX Emergency Response Center handles nearly 30,000 cases a year in over 200 countries. For more information, visit http://www.medexassist.com.


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SOURCE MEDEX Global Group
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