On Friday April 13th, Scotland-based Edinburgh International Investments Ltd signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the government of Putian City in China’s Fujian Province to establish an international hospital and support the planning and development of a new “medical city” that will include four specialist hospitals, research infrastructure, rehabilitation and medical tourism facilities.

Under the agreement, detailed planning will begin immediately with the international hospital scheduled for opening before the end of 2018.

“Our collaboration with Putian City aligns perfectly with our strategy to deliver excellence in healthcare service delivery, medical training and research, supported by Scottish expertise” explained Dr David Jiang, Chairman of Edinburgh International Investments. “We believe the projects can provide opportunities for clinicians, researchers and service providers who are keen to work in China’s rapidly transforming healthcare sector. “

Edinburgh International Investments Ltd is a joint venture between The University of Edinburgh and Hua Xia Healthcare, a Hong Kong listed hospital management company. It was established primarily to pursue opportunities in China’s healthcare market, drawing on expertise and excellence in training, education, research, data science, health services management and in-depth knowledge of doing business in China.

Putian, population 3 million, is a wealthy city on the Taiwan Strait in eastern China’s Fujian Province. It is an export base for the province’s products: shoes, electronics, garments, fruit and vegetables. Some 80% of the founders of China’s 11,000 privately invested hospitals originate from Putian.

Putian has a 168 sq km site on its Meizhou Bay area, around 40 km from the main urban area, where it seeks to develop a £5.6 billion ‘medical city’ project, comprising specialist hospitals, a drug development centre, medical school, conference centre and facilities for medical and wellbeing tourism. A ferry terminal will be built to serve a cross Straits service. Putian’s strategy is to attract medical consumers from Taiwan and Mainland China’s eastern seaboard, akin to an Oriental Florida.

“We will complete the Mazu international medical city by October 2019 and will mobilise all resources to get this done.”, said Li Jianhui, mayor of Putian city. “We’re delighted to attract world-class expertise and talents from Edinburgh to work with us.”

Edinburgh International Investments will be responsible for the conceptual planning, marketing, management and will also introduce medical specialties. In the near term, the company will establish a hospital in the main city area where there’s a demand for additional hospitals. Chronic disease management, including diabetes care, is earmarked as a key service.

China’s healthcare sector is challenged by people and skill shortages and an increase in common diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. For the Chinese Government, healthcare reform is both a social and national security priority.

China’s healthcare spending in 2015 was £411 billion. This is expected to reach £750 billion by 2020.  The Government’s reforms present international players with new business opportunities in this market.

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