China Healthcare Market Opened up to UK

A number of healthcare deals have been signed between China and the UK

British deals with China are coming thick and fast following Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to the global powerhouse.

The flurry of interest in the Asian giant has already seen both Mr Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson try their hand at Mandarin. And many interested parties at home have pressed the Government to increase opportunities in schools and colleges for the future industrialists and ambassadors of Britain to learn the language.

The trip by Mr Cameron and his retinue has led to deals worth billions, the bulk of which was covered by a £4.5 billion agreement secured by Jaguar Land Rover to deliver 100,000 vehicles for sale in China over the next year.

But that was not to be the end of the story, as the last day held a final entente. Accompanied by health secretary Jeremy Hunt, Mr Cameron oversaw the signing of a package of UK/Chinese healthcare deals expected to benefit the British economy to the tune of £120 million.

The agreement saw Sinophi Healthcare sign contracts for hospital management and hospital investment worth millions. Included in the contract is a joint venture with Huai’an First People’s Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in Jiangsu Province  in East China; the province has a population of roughly 80 million people. Sinophi also plans to build a 1,000-bed oncology hospital in the country.

Mr Cameron said: “This deal highlights the enormous opportunity that the Chinese healthcare market presents for British healthcare firms – set to grow by $400 billion by 2017. I hope we will see many more partnerships and deals like this for British businesses in this market.”

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by London-based Heythorp Healthcare and Jiangsu Far East (Yadong) to develop a mixed-use healthcare facility outside Jiangsu. The building will include provision for elderly nursing, specialist dementia services and care training.

Healthcare UK also signed a similar agreement with the CITIC Trust and Circle Partnership to facilitate commercial deals for UK firms in areas such as primary care services, integrated care and education and training.

And issues around dementia will be tackled through a Memorandum of Understanding between IXICO and the Beijing Union Medical and Pharmaceutical General Corporation.

Jeremy Hunt said: “These agreements will see UK firms exporting their expertise to China – building their businesses and investing in Chinese healthcare. Both countries will benefit from these new relationships and better trade links.”

UK firms are eager to break into the opportunities that are expected from China in the coming years; estimates are that the OECD and BRIC nations will increase spending on healthcare by 50% between 2010 and 2020 to $7.5 trillion.

Mr Hunt also announced that China and the UK are to collaborate on research into anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

He said: “Drug-resistant infections are a huge threat to global health and can only be dealt with by collaboration across all borders. Working with China and other countries is crucial in fighting AMR, and I am pleased that the UK will be exchanging expertise and developing new areas for action as part of a global partnership.”

The health secretary also said: “Both the UK and China face similar challenges in caring for ageing populations. There is a great deal that we can learn from each other in this field, and we believe UK companies have much to offer in the Chinese elderly care market.”

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