China’s healthcare industry is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Investment in the China healthcare market was USD 350 billion in 2014. It is poised to exceed USD 1 trillion by 2020. This growth would be driven by two main factors.
Average income levels in the country are on the rise. Growing affluence is creating demand for the latest, quality medical treatments and services. Secondly, lifestyle and dietary changes, coupled with water and air pollution are contributing to higher incidence of chronic ailments like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The WHO (World Health Organization) notes that China had about 230 million patients suffering from cardiovascular problems and 114 million from diabetes in 2014. Furthermore, the number of cardiovascular cases will increase by 50% from 2010 till 2030, owing to population growth and aging.
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These trends are creating huge opportunities for pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, hospital management services and other operators related to the healthcare sector. Moreover, the government has opened up the healthcare market to foreign investment and technology. This is bound to fuel growth. Government of China aimed to increase the share of private hospital service from under 10% in 2014 to about 20% in 2015.
However, recent shifts in the country’s economic situation may adversely affect growth. Additionally, China’s healthcare system is marred by deep-routed structural problems. Bribery and corruption have had a negative effect on the healthcare market. Policy, regulations, and compliance are some of the chief factors influencing the China healthcare market. Industry participants will need to review and align their strategies to stay competitive and grow.
Some of the well-known private healthcare facilities in China are the BenQ Hospital, Clifford Hospital, United Family Healthcare, and Phoenix Hospital Group. Foreign players marking their foray into the Chinese healthcare space adopt one of the two routes – mergers & acquisitions or organic expansion. Chindex International (CHDX), Concord (CCM), and SOS IMC are some of the leading service providers in the China healthcare market.
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Multinational pharmaceutical companies like Bayer Healthcare and Novo Nordisk consider China to be one of their three largest geographical markets. Medical device and equipment majors Philips and GE Healthcare garner yearly revenues of over USD 1 billion from China.