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Hainan sees world-class potential in medical sector


Hainan aims to become a world-class medical tourism destination within five years by developing the Boao Lecheng international medical tourism pilot zone, according to a provincial official.   Lu Junhua, deputy governor of Hainan province, made his remarks on Wednesday at the 2016 World Medical Tourism and Global Healthcare Congress in Boao.   The three-day congress has gathered more than 300 medical tourism industry executives and investors from around the world.   The Boao Lecheng international medical tourism pilot zone, the first of its kind in the country, was approved by the State Council in 2013. It enjoys nine preferential policies, including special permission for medical talent, technology, devices and drugs, and an allowance for the entry of foreign capital and international communications. The pilot zone also has permission to carry out leading-edge medical technology research, such as stem cell clinical research. Since its establishment, 20 projects with a total investment of 19.8 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) have been set up in the pilot zone, with another 15 projects approved. Nine investment projects, with a total contract value of 8.4 billion yuan, were agreed to at the congress in Boao. Five of them relate to the pilot zone.   Hainan, with its subtropical climate and coastal scenery, has many advantages that will help with the development of its medical tourism industry, said Jonathan Edelheit, CEO of the Medical Tourism Association. However, he cautioned that "more international cooperation is still needed, especially in doctor and nurse's training".   Han Yingwei, the director of Hainan's Health and Family Planning Commission, also cautioned that a lack of medical talent and supporting infrastructure may hamper the pilot zone's development. However, Lu, the deputy governor, said Hainan would overcome these challenges to meet its goal. Tourism on the island has seen rapid growth since its designation as an international tourism destination by the State Council in 2009. Last year, about 50 million tourists visited Hainan.
Reprinted from China Daily (By Liu Xiaoli and Huang Yiming)

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