Sep 10, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Experts call for China to develop 'Big Health' (China Daily)
A visitor tries a machine for losing weight at the International Health Industry Expo in Xiamen on Wednesday. Photo by Zhu Xingxin / China Daily
Health experts attending a forum at the China Xiamen International Health Industry Expo on Wednesday called for further development of the country’s healthcare industry and upgrading of its health management and service systems. Experts at the forum put forward a concept they called “Big Health”, which encompasses a wide range of healthcare industries, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare products, medical equipment, as well as sports equipment.
They said the country’s healthcare management and service industries are plagued by problems, and said the current health insurance mechanism is inadequate.
Though the health management industry in China has an annual revenue of 100 billion yuan ($16 billion), most of the services and products provided cannot be paid for by an insurance plan. In 2012, health insurance premiums reached 86.3 billion yuan. However, commercial health insurance only took up 5.6 percent of the total premium that year.
“The ‘Big Health’ industry development will change people’s mindsets and improve the business environment within the healthcare industry,” said Wu Liuxin, director of the China Medical Association’s Health Management Committee.
“The concept of ‘Big Health’ can help to extend the functions of hospitals in China. Now the function of hospitals is mainly selling medicines and doing surgery. But as people become more familiar with the importance of general health, hospitals will see that they can do a lot more than the services they are offering at the moment,” said Wu.
“The health industry will forever grow, because health issues are a concern for people throughout their lives,” said Yu Xiaodong, general director of the national public nutrition office of China Health Industry Alliance.
The Chinese mainland and Taiwan can cooperate in establishing medical management systems, traditional Chinese medicine pills, and research into new medical equipment and treatments, experts at the forum said. Huang Sung-shiang, chairman of the Taiwan Cross-Straits Medical Interchange Association, said Taiwan will invest $5 billion in the healthcare sector over the next five years and develop the largest healthcare project on the Chinese mainland.
A report from consulting firm Deloitte showed that China’s annual healthcare expenditure is projected to grow at an average rate of 11.8 percent between 2014 and 2018, reaching $892 billion by 2018. Spending will be driven primarily by consumers’ rapidly increasing incomes and the government’s healthcare reforms.
Contact the writers through email@example.com
(China Daily 09/10/2015 page19)