China is an economic world power with a rich history and diverse culture, and it is a favorite destination for leisure tourists. It is also a rapidly developing country, and one area that’s currently thriving is its healthcare industry, which has led to a large increase in medical tourists visiting the country. Patients from the West, as well as other parts of Asia, are now heading to China looking to combine a wonderful vacation with medical treatments in many different areas of healthcare.
Medical tourists are choosing to receive healthcare in China for a variety of reasons, including:
China’s Key Strengths as a Medical Tourism Destination
- A wealth of internationally accredited hospitals indicates quality of service and patient care
- Plenty of Western-trained, English-speaking doctors makes things easier and more comfortable for overseas patients
- Famous for treatments in important areas of medicine: oncology, cardiology, orthopedics
- A unique opportunity: Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments where they have been practiced for thousands of years
1. Low Costs of Healthcare
Affordability is the key reason why people go abroad for treatment, and China is no exception. The significant savings that Westerners experience in Chinese medical facilities speaks to the interesting place China’s economy occupies: it may be the world’s 2nd biggest economy, but it is still affordable compared to the West.
2. Top-notch Hospitals & Clinics
China’s medical system is comprised of modern hospitals delivering high-quality care. There are over 25 hospitals certified by prestigious international accreditation body JCI (Joint Commission International), and many others are members of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) as endorsed by the American Medical Association (AMA).
3. American Board Certified Doctors and Surgeons
This should not be overlooked, as there is a certain comfort-level for patients when they know they are dealing with medical professionals trained to the highest standards. There is an abundance of doctors proficient in English, partly to do with the large amounts of Western expats now living there, too.
4. A Mix of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western Medicine
Medical tourists can head to China for a variety of Western specialized treatments such as cancer care, heart surgery, and hip replacements, and also for techniques derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) like acupuncture for pain management, depression, and osteoarthritis, and herbal medicine and remedies to care for the effects of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, often on the same trip.
5. The Vacation Possibilities Are Endless
China has become a major tourist destination since the country opened up in the 1970s and is now the third most visited nation in the world. History, culture, amazing cuisine, famous sites, major cities, China has everything a vacationer could ask for, and that’s half of the medical tourism equation.
6. Strong Research Center Clinical Trials
This is particularly true in stem-cells therapy and cancer treatments. Regarding the former, China has very liberal regulations for embryonic stem cells research, resulting in many Western scientists collaborating with Chinese colleagues in world-class labs; and, for the latter, a combination of government support and private biomedical investment has led to a level of research and care on par with top cancer centers in the West.