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Outbound medical tourism gets a pacemaker from China

Reporter: Martina Fuchs 丨 CCTV.com

11-21-2016 16:51 BJT

Are you looking for a facelift or a health check-up, but it's too risky or unavailable in China? Then you might want to pack your bags and head somewhere else for treatment. The outbound medical tourism market is growing at a rapid pace, with many wealthy Chinese patients seeking health care and wellness services at top hospitals and clinics overseas. Our reporter Martina Fuchs has the story from the 5th China International Medical Tourism Fair in Beijing.

More and more affluent Chinese are checking in to check up. Medical tourism is a one-stop solution that packs 2 in 1: traveling to a far away place for healthcare treatment. It was the theme of a fair in Beijing over the weekend.

If you’re getting older and your face shows, then you may want to consider an anti-ageing package against those wrinkles elsewhere. And, Switzerland might be your destination.

Doctors Magistretti Healthcare offers beauty treatments and pre-disease screenings in the picturesque Swiss alpine village of Crans Montana.

His company offers packages that include doctor's appointments, flights, hotels as well as lifestyle services.

In July, he signed an agreement with his partner Medretreat in Beijing to receive Chinese patients, and in turn send doctors and medical equipment to China.

The size of the global medical tourism market is difficult to estimate, but reached between 45.5 to 72 billion US dollars last year.
Some 14 million cross-border patients worldwide spent an average of 3,800 to 6,000 US dollars per visit, including medical costs, transportation, and inpatient accommodation.

"For most Chinese, health is worth every penny. And more and more are willing and able to travel to any distance. The most sought-after treatments are plastic surgery, cancer, fertility, weight loss, and health screenings," Martina Fuchs said.

In China, rising wealth, an ageing population, and more non-communicable diseases, are fuelling the boom in outbound Chinese medical tourism.

Official figures show that some 60,000 Chinese nationals travel abroad each year to get medical treatment.

So which are the top destinations for medical travellers?

For the clinics and hospitals, it’s no holiday. They will need to provide Mandarin speaking staff, offer Chinese food, and train doctors about Chinese perceptions of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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