Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in­dus­try sees need to close gap and grow sec­tor

China Daily European Weekly - - Business - By ZHENG YI­RAN

China’s med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in­dus­try is pro­jected to reach 100 bil­lion yuan ($14.4 bil­lion; 12.7 bil­lion eu­ros; £11.2 bil­lion) in an­nual sales by 2023, with an an­nual com­pound growth rate of over 18 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port.

The re­port, re­leased dur­ing the China In­ter­na­tional Med­i­cal Equip­ment Fair in Shang­hai from Oct 29 to Nov 1, said that the cur­rent us­age-per-el­derly pop­u­la­tion ra­tio of el­derly re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and home health­care equip­ment in China is 1:10.

The cor­re­spond­ing fig­ure for Eu­ro­pean and North Amer­i­can coun­tries is 1:1, demon­strat­ing great growth po­ten­tial for China’s med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in­dus­try.

The na­tion’s med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in­dus­try re­mains rel­a­tively small due to a lack of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion equip­ment, re­lated hos­pi­tals and beds.

At present, there are 3,800 re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in­sti­tu­tions in China, ac­count­ing for 28 per­cent of the to­tal num­ber of hos­pi­tals na­tion­wide. A com­plete re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion med­i­cal equip­ment sup­ply sys­tem re­mains to be es­tab­lished.

“The back­ward­ness of Chi­nese con­sumers’ spend­ing on re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion showed that the do­mes­tic med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in­dus­try is still quite im­ma­ture, and the pub­lic aware­ness, equip­ment, tal­ent and in­dus­try chain re­main at a pri­mary level,” said the re­port from on­line mar­ket re­search con­sul­tancy Qianzhan.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased by Chyxx, an on­line in­dus­try in­for­ma­tion net­work, the vol­ume of China’s re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion med­i­cal in­dus­try is 20 bil­lion yuan, and the an­nual per capita ex­pen­di­ture is 15 yuan.

The cor­re­spond­ing fig­ures for the United States are 138 bil­lion yuan and 552 yuan, re­spec­tively.

In 2011, the Na­tional Health Com­mis­sion is­sued a guide­line on the es­tab­lish­ment and man­age­ment of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion de­part­ments in hos­pi­tals, re­quir­ing that com­pre­hen­sive hos­pi­tals set up re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion de­part­ments and stan­dard re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion equip­ment, in­clud­ing mul­ti­func­tional as­sess­ment equip­ment, ex­er­cise ther­apy equip­ment, phys­i­cal treat­ment equip­ment and speech dis­or­der-re­lated cog­ni­tive treat­ment equip­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the guide­line, 10,000 com­pre­hen­sive hos­pi­tals in China will need to es­tab­lish re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion de­part­ments. Given that the av­er­age cost of set­ting up re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion equip­ment for each hos­pi­tal is 3 mil­lion yuan to 5 mil­lion yuan, the to­tal cost will be from 30 bil­lion to 50 bil­lion yuan.

A re­cent sur­vey con­ducted by Shan­dong Univer­sity of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine found that nearly 24 per­cent of re­spon­dents had no idea about re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion treat­ment and 40 per­cent held wrong no­tions about such treat­ment.

Cha­pal Khasnabis, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, says: “Twenty years ago, peo­ple had a mis­un­der­stand­ing that only dis­abled peo­ple need re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion equip­ment. There­fore, when some of them re­ally had the need to use the equip­ment, they felt shame­ful. How­ever, now the sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent.

“As peo­ple age, and their phys­i­cal con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rates, for the con­sid­er­a­tion of health, they will be­come users of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion equip­ment sooner or later.

“Apart from pro­vid­ing timely medicines and vac­cines to more pa­tients in need, med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion or auxiliary equip­ment should be in­cluded in fu­ture med­i­cal pub­lic ser­vices,” Khasnabis adds.

Fan Yubo, di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Re­search Cen­ter for Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Tech­ni­cal Aids, which is part of the Min­istry of Civil Af­fairs, says: “In­ter­net, vir­tual re­al­ity, big data, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, 3D print­ing, new ma­te­rial ... all of these cut­ting-edge sciences and tech­nolo­gies are ded­i­cated to solv­ing prob­lems re­lated to med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

“Ag­ing, food safety is­sues and life­style have re­sulted in many chronic dis­eases in China,” Fan says. “Peo­ple need the help of med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion equip­ment. Cur­rently, there is a gap between China and other coun­tries in the med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in­dus­try. China needs to bring about in­no­va­tive break­throughs and have its own med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion brands.”

“The back­ward­ness of Chi­nese con­sumers’ spend­ing on re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion showed that the do­mes­tic med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion in­dus­try is still quite im­ma­ture.” Re­port from on­line mar­ket re­search con­sul­tancy Qianzhan

CHEN XIAOGEN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Vis­i­tors have their blood pres­sure checked at a re­cent in­ter­na­tional ag­ing in­dus­try fair in Bei­jing.

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