The 18th Western China Health Care Exhibition, was recently held at the Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Chengdu, Sichuan and showcased three sub exhibtions in relation to medical equipment, hospital construction and management and medical information and technology. We summarise the main points and provide detailed commentary regarding Sichuan’s healthcare industry and its future needs

“The 18th Western China Health Care Exhibition, which was organized by the Chengdu Tianyi Exhibition Company Ltd,  was recently held between the 10th to 12th March, 2016,  attracted approximately 500 medical industry exhibitors, covering an area of 30,000sqm and with a large number of attendees from a variety of medical fields such as hospitals, health care workers, medical manufacturers and research institutes.

The exhibition had three sub exhibitions ;  the Western China Medical Equipment Exhibition which showcased advanced medical and diagnostic equipment ranging from, blood transfusions units, intensive care units (ICU), medical cosmetics and plastic surgery, radiology, and ultrasounds to name a few.

The Western China Hospital Construction and Management Exhibition showcased products in relation to the planning, management and operations of hospitals and medical centers.

The Western China Hospital Information Technology Exhibition, in its in inaugural year, showcased technology products in relation to ‘medical information management’ and how it could be better utilised to improve patient care.

These three exhibitions were all well attended and further improved the offerings for the health care industry within Western China.

                                                                     SICHUAN HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY

The Sichuan Provincial People’s Government website in a 2014 article provided a detailed over overview of the Sichuan health care industry, its vision and future growth plans.  They envisaged the Sichuan healthcare industry as at 2017 will be valued at RMB 200 Billion, as at 2020 accounting for 10% of the Sichuan GDP and adding more than 400,000 health care professionals.

The Government is very adamant to significantly develop Sichuan’s health care industry, concentrating on high level and specialist medical care, to encourage joint ventures, and accelerate the development of private clinics.

Secondly, the Government wants to encourage the development of the aged care sector, nursing homes and community health centres. Pursuant to China’s ageing population, aged care services will be a key battleground for companies wanting to enter Western China as envisaged by the IHH joint venture we reported about’.

The second article below noted, “In 2014 the number of beds per 1,000 people (all age groups) was 5.7 and in 2020 the number of beds for aged and retirement care will reach 35 beds per 1,000 people.”

Thirdly, the Sichuan Provincial People’s Government aspires to encourage healthcare diversification and promote women’s and children’s health care services, counselling and diagnostic testing. Indeed with China’s second child policy it makes socio-economic sense to expand women’s health services and there will stringent need to increase the quota of midwifery professionals.

Somedays when you visit the West China Second University Hospital, which provides very specialist women’s health care services, the queues are outside the door and you can sense the need for further health care development.

The Sichuan Provincial People’s Government will also strongly encourage further development of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries with a focus on research and development, cluster zones, and the wide usage of technology. Furthermore they have created favorable policies for biopharmaceuticals, medical equipment manufacturing, and medical technologies to develop their startups and enterprises with Sichuan and Chengdu. congratulates the Western China Health Care Exhibition organisers and exhibitors on another successful exhibition. 

However, there was again an evident shortage of overseas biopharmaceutical, medical equipment manufacturers, medical technology enterprises and health care professionals.  Indeed many may be still attracted to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen which is full understandable considering their size and GDP per capita income.

                                                                      SICHUAN ECONOMY

Sichuan which has a population of 85 million, is the provincial centrepoint of Western China, and with its GDP reaching above RMB 3 Trillion (USD $458 Billion)

Just to provide some context the 2014 World Bank GDP country report valued the Austria’s GDP at $437 Billion, the United Arab Emirates GDP at $399 Billion, and Singapore’s GDP at $308 Billion and, Israel’s GDP at $305 Billion. Indeed these countries have a significantly higher GDP per capita income and living standards, but the potential for growth in the Sichuan GDP and per capita looks very promising over the next decade or so.

Furthermore as Mr.Xiong Jianzhong, the spokesperson of The Sichuan Statistics Bureau recently stated, ‘The Sichuan GDP equals the total amount of output of twelve provinces within Western China.Our research has demonstrated throughout the last ten years, Sichuan’s GDP has improved significantly and as at 2015 it surpassed the provinces of Hebei and Linagjing and is now Chinas 6th largest provincial economy’.

The Sichuan Provincial People's Government has also been very proactive and only on the 22nd February 2016 announced the ‘Four Sichuan Expressways project’ connecting the Chengdu Economic Zone, Panxi Economic Zone and Southern Sichuan Economic Zone.

Only in May 2016, construction commenced on Chengdu’s 2nd international airport ‘Chengdu Tianfu International Airport”  and it is third Chinese city behind Beijing and Shanghai that will have a second international airport.  

Within Sichuan there are over 15 foreign consulates, with the Swiss recently opening a visa centre , the South Koreans an international trade centre and only last week the state of Queensland , Australia a trade and investment centre.

As this article goes to print Mr. Yin Li, Vice Secretary of Sichuan Provincial Committee of the CPC and Governor of Sichuan Provincial People's Government, has led a delegation to Germany for various trade and investment meetings (6th to 8th June). Furthermore he will be attending a very important signing ceremony in Berlin “where cooperation projects totaling investments of 1.2 billion yuan, including Sino-Germany Joint Road Research Laboratory, Photovolataic Technology Joint Research and Development are being signed”.

Finally, the ‘Sichuan Provincial People’s Government’ in conjunction with the ‘Chengdu Municipal Government’ have developed extensive infrastructure, investment and talent policies to significantly help knowledgeable and talented professionals, startups and growing and innovative enterprises to seriously consider Sichuan and Chengdu, as an ideal business, career and investment destination.

We are quietly confident over the next 3 – 7 years Sichuan’s healthcare industry and sub sectors will further develop and innovation will be a key driver.  However as they say “one must venture far afield, to better understand Sichuan’s and Chengdu’s unique healthcare opportunities and gradually participate in this socio economic phenomenon.”

Information Sources:

Disclaimer: Various sections of the above article were summarized from the above mentioned websites and added commentary provided by