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Hospitals and Other Health Concerns in Tibet


Major towns in Tibet Autonomous Region 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.

TAR 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)
Tibetan Traditional Hospital (Mentsikhang)
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)

TAR 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.

Might it not be advisable to mention that your hotel staff can often direct you to hospitals and doctors who are.

Other Health Concerns

Prepare your first aid kit before arriving in Tibet. In addition to the normal bandages, salves, etc. one should include medicine for diarrhea, giardiasis, hepatitis and other diseases tourists may encounter on the plateau. Medicine for respiratory tract infections, such as colds, influenza and bronchitis which may further diminish oxygen intake should also be included to prevent those diseases since they may result in serious consequences on the Tibetan plateau. Tourists should get vaccinations to ensure good health and an enjoyable tour. Consult your physician to find out the appropriate vaccinations before departure. Medicine can be obtained from pharmacies, most of them on Yuthok Lu in Lhasa.

You will be exposed to climate as well as altitude extremes in Tibet. The temperature variation between day and night is huge, so be careful not to catch cold, which, because of Mountain Sickness, could possibly be fatal. The sun is much stronger at this elevation because there is little atmosphere to filter its rays. Therefore, it may injure your skin and eyes, so you'd better bring your sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Also, sunburn can easily occur even though you do not feel it at first. Use face and hand lotions to keep your skin moisturized, as the air at this elevation is very dry so the wind will rapidly dry your skin out.

Since the boiling point of water is somewhat lower in Tibet, it is better to boil water for a longer period of time. Drinking water should be purified with iodine or other purification tablets before consumption to prevent intestinal complaints.

Packs of wild dogs roaming around monasteries and villages are common in Tibet and also a potential threat. Get a rabies vaccination (human diploid cell vaccine or purified chick embryo culture vaccine) in advance and stay away from them. For details about the vaccination, consult your doctor.

Visitors to remote areas may see wild animals, such as wild yaks, Tibetan antelopes and such. For safety's sake keep your distance.

Related Link: Tibet Travel Guide

- Last updated on Aug. 29, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Hospitals and Other Health Concerns in Tibet
Asked by Bonnie Wagg from CANADA | Oct. 29, 2014 09:13Reply
Can I bring my portable oxygen machine with me?
I have lung disease and use oxygen daily. Tibet is somewhere I want to see before I die.
Answers (1)
Answered by Wendy from KENYA | Oct. 29, 2014 21:58

Bonnie, you can take your portable oxygen machine into China if you have your doctor's medical certificate. And you need to inform your airline that you will take it on board. According to what I know, it's forbidden to take oxygen machine if passengers don't have the medical certificate and don't inform Chinese airlines in advance. However, I am afraid that you may not be allowed to visit Tibet considering of your current health conditions. Those who take trains to Tibet are suggested to take a physical examination before they go to Tibet. And they need to fill a health report card. The conductor will collect your health card after you board the train. The other option is to fly to Tibet. However, I am afraid that the airlines may not agree to let you fly to Tibet. Just my opinion. You may contact the airlines to confirm this if you plan to fly to Tibet.
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