'Medical Tourism' Continues to Grow in China, as New Website Offers Services
(Beijing) – A company that runs a mobile application providing users with doctor consultations recently launched a website that arranges trips to physicians in other countries, a sign "medical tourism" is growing more popular in China.
Cycares.com, a subsidiary of Chunyu Yisheng, started offering a range services in countries such as the United States, Japan and Thailand on September 22.
The service is evidence that medical tourism, in which patients head to other countries where treatment is better, is growing more popular in China, especially among the affluent.
Chinese spent more than US$ 10 billion traveling abroad for health care services last year, said Stanford Research Institute International, a nonprofit research institute in the United States. The international medical tourism market was worth US$ 438.6 billion in 2013, and will grow to US$ 678.5 billion in 2017.
Cycares.com's CEO, Xiong Juan, said her company can arrange packages that include doctor's appointments, flights and hotels. The company focuses on physical examinations because they are in demand and come with low risk, she said, but it can also handle other treatments, such as for heart disease or cancer, and plastic surgery.
The Chinese websites Hopenoah.com and Medicaltrade.com.cn provide similar services.
Cycares.com has links to 6,000 doctors at more than 30 medical organizations abroad, Xiong said. The website is also exploring deals with insurance companies so medical tourists can buy policies, she said.
Cycares.com raised 15 million yuan in financing in July, Xiong said, and will try to raise more in October.
Zhang Rui, the founder of Chunyu Yisheng, said the app has 86 million users.
(Rewritten by Guo Kai)
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