Pri­vate hospi­tals rise on back of FDI

China Daily European Weekly - - Business - By REN XIAOJIN ZHANG NAN Con­tact the writ­ers at renx­i­ao­jin@chi­

Pri­vate hospi­tals backed by for­eign in­vestors will sup­ple­ment China’s ex­ist­ing health­care sys­tem by of­fer­ing more com­pli­cated sur­gi­cal op­er­a­tions and high-qual­ity med­i­cal ser­vices, as well as fur­ther en­rich­ing the ways that for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment gets used in the coun­try, ex­perts say.

The num­ber of pri­vate hospi­tals in China topped 17,000 in the first half of this year, ac­count­ing for 57.5 per­cent of the to­tal across the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

Shang­hai-based DeltaHealth, funded by Eight Roads Ven­tures, is one such pri­vate hospi­tal. It is mark­ing its first an­niver­sary in China by show­cas­ing its ex­pe­ri­ence in the pri­vate sec­tor.

Its ex­pe­ri­ence sug­gests that pri­vate hospi­tals have a lot of po­ten­tial to func­tion as an al­ter­na­tive op­tion for pa­tients and med­i­cal work­ers alike in a mar­ket still dom­i­nated by pub­lic hospi­tals.

For David Hoidal, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of Delta Health, the core com­pet­i­tive­ness of pri­vate hospi­tals is their ad­vanced equip­ment, com­pet­i­tive salaries for pro­fes­sion­als, at­trac­tive ca­reer growth and full-cy­cle ser­vices for pa­tients.

“As an im­por­tant part­ner of Columbia HeartSource in China, we can of­fer a chance for doc­tors and nurses to know about cut­ting-edge med­i­cal dis­cov­er­ies, gain world-class ex­pe­ri­ence and deep knowl­edge from around the world,” says Hoidal.

Des­mond Thio, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of DeltaHealth, says: “I think a pure en­vi­ron­ment for doc­tors to learn and de­velop is cru­cial for them. Within a pri­vate en­vi­ron­ment, they can just do what they need to do with­out fur­ther wor­ries about their liveli­hood.”

For pa­tients, pri­vate hospi­tals pro­vide com­plete care af­ter surgery, Hoidal says.

In­stead of be­ing hos­tile to each other, pri­vate and pub­lic hospi­tals should ef­fi­ciently work to­gether and form a healthy col­lab­o­ra­tive re­la­tion­ship, he says.

“In the past, we’ve hosted aca­demic sem­i­nars, fo­rums with es­tab­lished doc­tors while also invit­ing pub­lic hospi­tals to join us,” says Hoidal. “I be­lieve in the fu­ture, when the pri­vate sec­tor grad­u­ally grows in size, pub­lic hospi­tals will also show in­ter­est in how their pri­vate peers func­tion.”

Last year, the Chi­nese govern­ment re­leased “Healthy China 2030”, a blue­print that cov­ers ar­eas such as pub­lic health ser­vices, the med­i­cal in­dus­try, and food and drug safety, with the aim of im­prov­ing the health of the Chi­nese peo­ple.

Thio thinks the fu­ture is bright for pri­vate hospi­tals in China. “This is a mas­sive coun­try. One car­diac hospi­tal can­not meet the de­mand.”

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