Forums > Living in Kunming > any western doctor /hospital ?
We just had a baby at Richland, not having known about this thread before. We have had previous birth experiences with a certified midwife and at the U of Chiang Mai hospital. Richland was the poorest experience and the most expensive, but thankfully mother and baby are healthy. It was not as bad as it sounds like many hospitals are, no stirrups, no forced epidural or episotomy, no problems about husband in room or rooming in with the baby.
However, though we had been told directly by the doctor that an IV would not be required prior to any trauma, the same doctor insisted on an IV at the start even though there was no signs of trouble at any point (the labor was short and without complications). The nurse inserting the IV seemed inexperienced at finding a vein and the needle caused quite a bit of pain throughout the night, but the nurses refused to allow it to be removed, even when the original litre of saline was empty.
We never saw the MD again after the birth, and no checkup of either the mother or baby was offered before checking out. The excessive advice from the nurses was contradictory and a mixture of traditional foolishness (no baths for mother for a month), the worst of old-fashioned medicine (the baby is so hungry, she needs formula and water, not just breast milk), and a unwillingness on the part of some, though not all, to do or find someone to do general house-cleaning chores by the nurses (bed sheets not changed for three days, bath towel only provided after four requests, etc., we cleaned the bathroom ourselves.) Several times we were told, "that's not my job, wait she comes back at 2..." or else we were just told "一会儿" (in a while) and never got a response.
Smoking is not actively controlled in the hospital, so was a general stench of cigarettes on the maternity floor during the daytime outpatient hours and a liquified-gas-burning outdoor heater is set up near the nurses station to warm the nurses with no ventilation. (The nurses confidently told us that the gas-burning heater produced no fumes.) We were charged Y1000 more than the stated cost on the printed brochures in the lobby and offered three different flimsy explanations, yet they could produce an itemized receipt from their computer system to account for the disparity, and so finally left after waiting for an hour without detailed receipt.
However, the hospital staff were generally friendly to us, and to a certain degree we were able to persuade them that we weren't complete idiots and actually knew a bit about caring for a newborn (we brought the other kids for proof).
There were a few folks that did seem to be trying hard to help us within what appeared to be a very poorly managed system, and they were very prompt about producing a birth certificate.
It is far inferior to the several Thai hospitals we have used in Chiang Mai and Bangkok and more expensive, and as far as we could tell none of the doctors or nurses on call at night speak English functionally (fortunately we speak Chinese), and none of the "essential information" provided the patient is in English, except for the Yunnan Province vaccination record book, so Richland is not necessarily any more user-friendly for giving birth if one doesn't speak much Chinese than non "international" hospitals in Kunming, though they do try to have an English speaker at the door during outpatient hours.
But to put it back in perspective, none of the frustrations we experienced put us in danger at any point, as far as we could just as non-medical professionals, the medical care was adequate, it was just the patient/customer services aspect that was lacking, and of course cultural differences about how to care for newborns. In spite of it's claim to be "international" if there are any doctors or nurses educated outside of mainland working there to bring a more international perspective, we never met them. Though it looks different from other local hospitals in that they have nicer facilities, equipment, etc. all the doctors and staff we met appear to be trained at the same schools that the the other doctors and nurses in Kunming are, and therefore their approach to medicine seems to be a combination of traditional Chinese, traditional 1950s Western medicine, and some more modern ideas about childbirth. Probably the best thing about Richland compared to other local hospitals is that it has very few inpatients, so it's not very crowded, one doesn't have to queue for the elevator, it's somewhat quiet at night, etc. If you anticipate a smooth delivery and speak Chinese fairly well and can afford it (Y6000 - Y10,000 according to the material in the lobby, though you'll probably be charged more than that), then it could be a good option.