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Shanghai Seeks Foreign Capital for Medical Services

Shanghai, the largest metropolis in China, is seeking private and foreign capital for medical services, especially those tailored for foreigners.

Zhu Zhaosong, deputy director of the Development and Reform Commission of Shanghai, told an international forum on medicine in the city that Shanghai boasted a huge potential market for medical and health care and needed more diversified and customized quality medical services.

Shanghai has lured thousands of foreigners, who account for 1 percent of the city's 13 million registered citizens.

But most foreigners preferred to return to their own countries for medical care, indicating a dearth of foreigner-oriented medical service centers in the city, Zhu estimated.

Shanghai has formulated a series of regulations to promote non- government-supported medical institutions with investment from the private sector. Private and foreign investors are encouraged to participate in the construction of specialty and customized medical services.

Zhu said world-class medical centers that integrated education and research and development with hospitals would be built in Shanghai. A lot of private and overseas capital was needed for the construction, operation and management of these centers.

Official statistics show Shanghai has 600 medical institutions approved by the local medical authorities, of which more than 200, or 30 percent, are funded by the private sector.

(China Daily March 15, 2004)

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