China has made enormous strides in recent years in developing its healthcare system, and making healthcare more accessible and affordable. China’s recent National Health Conference emphasised the government’s commitment to deepen healthcare reform over the next decade.
However, most patients in China will head to major hospitals in cities, because they lack confidence in local medical facilities near their homes. This places a huge burden on the healthcare system. At the heart of China’s health reform is the creation of a tiered system, based on general practitioners (GPs) and community health centres. China’s primary care market is therefore expected to grow from £42bn in 2015 to £98bn in 2020.
Clearly the development of primary care will generate commercial opportunities for both domestic and international players. The Chinese government is looking at best practice internationally, where the UK is well placed to respond , given the quality of our primary care and GP training and education.
In parallel, the dental care market is expanding rapidly. The private sector in China started developing around 20 years ago, and the number of private clinics has increased dramatically since then. The prevalence of oral disease in China is relatively high compared with developed countries, yet the treatment rate is fairly low. As people become more and more conscious of oral health and aesthetics, demand for preventative and cosmetic dental services in China is expected to grow strongly.
With this as background, the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Healthcare Team in China commissioned research with KPMG to better understand the opportunity for the UK to export its expertise in primary care and to scope opportunities in the dental sector.
Reports launched this week, prepared by KPMG, provide a detailed analysis of the areas of opportunity, their growth potential, and where they match UK capability. They also look at some of the risks and challenges of entering China’s primary care and dental care market, and how these can be overcome. There is a deep dive into Guangdong province in southern China.
As well as understanding commercial opportunities for the UK in China, the reports also considered the potential for foreign direct investment into the UK’s primary care and dental care sectors, and the feasibility of this in the short-to-medium term.
Read the reports here:
Minister-Counsellor and Director for Life Sciences, Health and Social Care, China.
Department for International Trade, British Embassy Beijing