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Hospitals

Major towns in Tibet have hospitals with basic facilities. Western pharmaceutical treatment, Tibetan herbal remedies and Chinese herbal remedies are also accessible. The medical and sanitary conditions of most hospitals are not as satisfactory as those in developed areas. However, in an emergency, they can still give basic medical treatments and be of great value in saving a life when necessary.

Tibet People's Hospital, Lingkhor Bei Lu northeast of Potala, the biggest and best in Lhasa, 24 hours open.Tel 6322200 (emergency department), 6322177

Emergency Treatment Center, on the junction of Lingkhor Bei Lu and Duosinge Bei Lu, next to TAR People's Hospital, has English speaking doctors and their service can be reached by emergency call 120. Tibetan Traditional Hospital (Mentsikhang), on Yuthok Lu and opposite the Barkhor Square, also has English speaking doctors and the staff is kind.
Tel 6324211 (emergency department), 6323244

People's Hospital Lhasa, east of the junction where Beijing Dong Lu meets Lingkhor Dong Lu.
Tel 6323811 (emergency department)

Tibet Hospital of Tibetan Medicine, north end of Niangre Nan Lu Military Hospital Dental Clinic, on Beijing Xi Lu and near Holiday Inn Shigatse Hospital is about 500 m (1,650 feet) north of Shigatse Hotel, on Jiefang Dong Lu.

Better hospital service and facilities can only be accessed in Chengdu and other major cities.

Hospital and health clinics in Central Tibet are primarily located in Lhasa, Shigatse, and Tsethang,. The language barrier can be a problem, so it is a good idea to bring along a Chinese interpreter. In Lhasa, the main hospital recommended for foreigners is the Renmin, or People's Hospital, on Dzugtrun Lam, the east-west street north of the Potala. It has an emergency room as well as an aliens (foreigners) clinic with a doctor generally on duty from 9 am to 5 p.m.

The Lhasa People's Hospital (the City Hospital) is located at the east end of Lhasa on Dekyi Bhar Lam, just past the Banok Shol hotel. Although the recommended hours for visitation are 9 a.m to 5 p.m, the doctor who sees foreigners is generally available in the evening from 7 am to 9 pm.

The Holiday Inn in Lhasa has a doctor's clinic for their guests, with a medical staff provided by the People's Hospital. Consultations are arranged through the assistant manager in the hotel lobby. Visitation fees are in addition to the costs of any medicines provided.

The Tibetan Medicine Hospital, called the Menzi Khang, is located across from the Barkor Square. Hours are from 9:30 a.m to 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm to 6 pm; the hospital is closed on Sunday. Diagnosis of an illness is done by traditional Tibetan medicinal techniques, such as feeling the pulse and examining the urine, and the medicinal prescribed are mostly traditional Tibetan herbal preparations.

Foreigners should report to the outpatient section. If you have a chance, ask permission to see the beautiful collection of medical-oriented thangka paintings displayed on the hospital's top floor. In Shigatse, a modern, multistory hospital is located about a ten-minute walk north of the Shigatse Hotel. If the main central entrance is locked, try the emergency room entrance to the right.

In Tsethang, the hospital is located on the north side of the main road to Gongkar Airport, near the T intersection with the road leading south toward the main part of the city. There is also a hospital in Chonggye.

The hospital closet to the Everest region is in Shegar (turnoff at km market 482/3). It has several inpatient wards and a few doctors, though the Shigatse hospital is better equipped for serious injuries or illnesses.

The only proper dental facility (by Western standards) in Central Tibet is in Lhasa at the Military Hospital Dental Clinic on Xingfu Xi Lu Street, near the Holiday inn. It has modern equipment and will accept foreigners. The only alternative is to use one of the street side dentists displaying sets of false teeth in the city markets. Most of the pharmacies in Lhasa are located along the main street, Dekyi Shar Lam, either below the Potala or closer to the Barkor near the Yak and Kirey hotels. Some of these shops have signs with a red cross or the word Pharmacy? They typically sell Chinese and Tibetan medicines, but also some Western antibiotics, analgesics, and vitamins. Many pharmacies double as outpatient clinics. If you need a specific drug, bring a sample if you have one.

The best pharmacies in Shigatse and Tsethang are located in the city hospitals. The usual procedure is to meet with a doctor, who will then prescribe the medicine. If a doctor is not available, you might be able to convince a nurse to sell you medicine if you can mime your complaint or if you have a drug sample.

Sometimes it is best to see a Western doctor in a private, Western-style clinic, either out of necessity or simply for peace of mind. If someone is injured or becomes seriously ill during a trek in the Everest or Shishapangma regions, you should seriously consider going to one of the clinics in Kathmandu. They are closer than the hospital in Shigatse and the facilities are superior. The best-known (and most expensive) clinic with Western doctors is the CIWEC clinic in Baluwatar (phone 410983) across from the Russian Embassy. Another reliable clinic with a highly qualified Western-trained doctor is the Nepal International Clinic (phone 412842), located across from the Royal Palace on a side street near the cinema. The Tribuwan University Teaching Hospital on Maharaj Ganj Street has a good emergency room-outpatient service.

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