【大发神彩下载_大发神彩下载官网】Across China: Chinese border town draws medical tourists from afar

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CHANGCHUN, July 26 (Xinhua) -- It took Dmitrii three days -- via two air flights and a cross-border bus -- to see his dentist and have his teeth repaired.

But for the 32-year-old Russian who lives in a small village near the Arctic Circle, the recent trip to Hunchun, a small Chinese city on the border, was worth the effort.

"The dentists here are skillful and charge a reasonable price," said Dmitrii, who spent about 10,000 yuan (1,587 U.S. dollars) repairing his decayed teeth. "In my hometown, the same treatment would cost me more than triple that price."

Besides the considerable cost difference, Dmitrii also liked not having to wait long for an appointment with the doctors. "In Hunchun, you can just walk in the clinic and get the treatment immediately," he said.

Artem Kechin, who came to China with Dmitrii, went to Hunchun's traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) hospital for a spine treatment. He planned to have an operation the next time he visits the city.

"In Russia, more and more patients embrace Chinese dentists and TCM. Seeing doctors, along with traveling and shopping, are what draw Russians to China," Kechin said.

Over the past five years, an annual average of 80,000 Russians traveled to Hunchun, with many of them medical tourists. This influx of patients has prompted the number of local private dentist clinics to grow to nearly 80.

In the city's TCM hospital, massage practitioner An Sheng was busying treating Russian patients.

"We treat around 80 Russian patients every month," he said. "Massage, moxibustion and cupping are especially popular among Russians who suffer from spondylosis, slipped disk, diabetes and high blood pressure."

To better serve foreign patients, the local government has set up a center to collect and provide information on hospital charges and introduced a rating system for hospitals to encourage better services.

Many hospitals have also hired Russian translators and set up designated areas to attend to Russian patients.

Besides treating Russian patients, medical institutions in Hunchun are also looking to promote TCM in Russia.

"To meet the high Russian demand for TCM, we will strengthen our cooperation with Russian hospitals in the future," said An.