Five years ago, most Chinese citizens stayed in their own country for medical care or to give birth. The figure today has risen from 5,000 to nearly 60,000, as the lure of health rejuvenation therapies, high-end health screening, and childbirth opportunities draw them increasingly to foreign lands, according to Yan Jian, CEO of the Shanghai Medical Tourism Products and Promotion Platform as reported in China Daily on November 7.
China Daily reported Xu Shuo, secretary-general of the Beijing Medical Doctor Association as saying Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the U.S. and Hong Kong are prime destinations for these travelers. With their booming economy, many Chinese can pay top dollar for luxurious accommodations and medical care in other countries, such as hotel rooms in Singapore running more than $3,150 a night.
Dr. Tan See Leng, chief executive officer of Parkway Pantai Limited, a private healthcare provider in Singapore, told China Daily, "Given the sheer population size and evident aging trend, China's definitely of great market value for the medical business." He noted that many of these hospitals have staff members who speak Chinese and can help patients with visa applications and travel arrangements.