Shanghai building a future in medical tourism
A seminar about the development of international and premium medicine in the new era has been held at Huashan Hospital on Friday, focusing on branding and building medical tourism.
The event was organized for the second year by the think tank of the chapter of Nordic countries under Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholars Association and the Huashan Hospital worldwide medical center.
Gu Jingwen, director of the center and honorary chairperson of the Society of International Medicine of the Shanghai Medical Association, said that the demand for international medical services in China has been growing with increasing foreign investment and tourism in the past 40 years since the reform and opening-up policy was introduced.
As Shanghai launched a campaign last year to promote the “Shanghai Brands” in manufacturing, shipping, culture and service, the city also introduced 50 new measures to promote the development of the health care industry.
Among the targets, the document pointed out that Shanghai should make itself a competitive destination for international health tourism.
She also pointed out that medical tourism - medical care, disease treatment, rehabilitation and recuperation - has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, growing at 20 percent a year.
She said Shanghai had advantages in developing medical tourism as it had world-standard medical resources, with many hospitals ranked No.1 in China in their specialities, as well as rich tourism resources, such as the Chongming ecological island and the Disney Resort.
Meanwhile, traditional Chinese medicine has become more and more popular among foreigners, she added.
She said Shanghai also had about 80 medical institutions offering high-end medical services, including 21 with foreign investment or cooperation, and two international medical zones.
The Huashan Worldwide Medical Center is the first training base of general practice for international and premium medicine in Shanghai and has accumulated rich experience in foreign-related medical services and the training of international general practitioners.
She said Shanghai should work out standards for qualification and service for medical tourist programs, better connect commercial and public insurances and promote the development of medical tourist agencies.