- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 8th April 2016
- health, hospital, insurance, medical tourism, trend
Due to the problems of industrial pollution and subsequent air contamination, the number of China’s population suffering from lifestyle diseases is increasing tremendously. This category of illnesses can include issues such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a wide range of other chronic medical issues. According to the latest findings by the World Health Organization (WHO), 2015 saw 2.8 million people in China die from cancer, an average of 7,500 per day.
Yet, there are obviously some serious problems in Chinese Health market: despite expanded insurance coverage in the past recent years, unrestricted access to sufficiently good-quality healthcare cannot always be guaranteed in China, particularly in rural areas. Additionally, there is a general distrust in both doctors and the wider healthcare system amongst the population.
These current health problems have led to a growth in the medical Chinese outbound travel market, as Chinese citizens look to get better medical treatment overseas. The Shanghai Medical Tourism Products and Promotion Platform indicates that approximately 60,000 Chinese nationals travel abroad each year in search of a variety of medical services, ranging from anti-aging therapy, cancer screening and treatment, care for chronic diseases, or even to give birth. The number of Chinese citizens travelling overseas for treatment will undoubtedly continue to rise on account of medical tourism agencies’ growing marketing campaigns, as well as media expose and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Commenting on the growing trend, Cheng Feng, Professor on Public Health at Tsinghua University explained that: "Chinese people are getting richer and their willingness to consume is getting stronger. A lack of high quality medical resources in China make it possible for foreign medical institutions to exploit the Chinese market."
For wealthy Chinese medical outbound tourists, costs are not necessarily an issue, since they believe that it is worthy paying extra in order to get higher-quality medical treatment overseas.
The Chinese outbound medical tourist market has huge growth potential in the coming years. The current top overseas destinations for Chinese medical tourists are the USA, Japan and Germany. South Korea and Singapore are also particularly popular with Chinese people looking to have plastic surgery, whilst even developing countries such as India and Bangladesh have captured a piece of the market and attract those looking for treatment of diseases like hepatitis C.