Hope Medical Group – Macau, China

hope_macauMacau is located just west of Hong Kong on the southern tip of China. Though a modern, industrialized city, many people of working class have little access to medical care. Hope Medical Group provides a full-service clinic staffed by American physicians. They are assisted by Chinese family medicine residents who are training at Hope Medical Group.


Visiting medical students and residents can function in English, with translation provided. Housing is available within the clinic complex. In addition to work at the clinic, students may also participate in mobile clinics that are held in the factories and casinos of Macau. The ministry was begun by Bill Swan, MD, in 1980 while Macau was still a Portuguese colony.


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Macau is an island in southeast Asia, just west of Hong Kong. Home to one half million Chinese, Macau is a province of China but enjoys more independence than the mainland. Macau is industrialized and has a large tourism industry. Cantonese is the main language. Summertime, May through September, is hot and humid.


International travelers should fly into the international airport on Macau. A representative from Hope Medical Group will provide transportation to the facility.

Visa Requirement

Americans are normally granted a visa upon arrival in Macau. An advanced visa application is not necessary. For the most up to date information, please check the Chinese Embassy website at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/. Macau travel information is found at http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/amqz/default.htm.

Traveler’s Health & Safety

Please check the CDC travel website for the most up-to-date health information: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx. Given the high prevalence of hepatitis A and B, visitor should be certain their vaccination against these infections is up to date.
Visitors are advised to regularly check the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date information regarding travel advisories: http://www.state.gov/travel. Visitors are advised to regularly check the U.S. State Department website for the most up-to-date information regarding country specific travel information http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765.html


Hope Medical Group is a primary care, family medicine clinic that serves about forty outpatients daily, including a large number are children. Those patients who require inpatient or obstetrical care are referred to a national hospital. Hope was started in 1980 by an American physician, Bill Swan, while Macau was still a Portuguese colony.




People coming to Hope Medical Group are generally of lower economic status. Many suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. TB, hepatitis A and B are very common, as are nasopharyngeal carcinomas. The clinic also sees a large number of patients with dermatologic diseases related to air pollution. Cantonese is the main language.

Medical Staff

The full-time medical staff of Hope Medical Group consists of two American family physicians. Two additional American physicians will be joining the staff in the near future. Hope Medical Group provides a family medicine training program for Chinese physicians who have recently graduated from Chinese medical school. The number of family medicine residents at Hope is usually five or six.

Language Requirement

Students and residents can function adequately in English, with translation provided by that staff at Hope. Fluency in Cantonese or Mandarin is useful but is not essential.

Student Experience

Many American medical students and residents have worked at Hope, and the medical staff is very interested in teaching. In addition to work at the clinic, students may also participate in mobile clinics that are held in the factories and casinos of Macau.

Student Lodging & Meals

Visiting students and residents are housed in apartments owned by the clinic. The clinic has Internet access. One can purchase meals at local restaurants or can be prepared in the apartments. Transportation about Macau is via bus or taxi, which are very inexpensive. Give the small size of the island, most people simply prefer to walk.

Facility Support

INMED invites all participants to consider raising extra funds to donate to support the facility. This is not required but allows INMED participants to become involved in every aspect of medical missions.


Clothing for clinical work is similar to that worn in the United States. Slacks or shorts may be worn by women. Male physicians do not normally wear ties to work. Be sure to bring a white coat and your stethoscope.

What To Pack

Be sure to pack a carry-on bag that has your essentials, including a change of clothes, just in case your luggage becomes lost. Also, it’s usually best to bring two suit cases, each half full, so you will have a place to pack souvenirs for the return trip. Bring clothes appropriate for the weather.
Traveler checks are not accepted in Macau and should not be brought. It is easier to exchange U.S. dollars, preferably $50 and $100 bills. Bills should be new, without marks or wrinkles, otherwise Macau banks may be reluctant to exchange them for national currency.