Caixin
Dec 02, 2016 07:35 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Meinian to Set Up Diagnostic Clinic With Siemens Healthineers

(Beijing) — Siemens AG has become the latest market player to court China’s huge health care market, attracted by the nation’s aging population and loosening regulations.

Siemens Healthineers, a medical-care subsidiary of the German electronics giant, is partnering with China’s leading health-check operator, Meinian Onehealth Healthcare Group Co., to set up a joint diagnostic clinic in Shanghai, the Chinese company announced Thursday.

The clinic, which will be 3,000 square meters, will provide diagnosis services and health checks through imaging technologies, such as nuclear magnetic resonance, ultrasound and CT scans.

Siemens will provide specialist equipment and medical data and will benefit from access to Meinian’s current clinic network of more than 200 branches in 70 cities nationwide.

Although Meinian said that the new clinic had yet to gain official approval and there is a chance it might not, recent regulatory changes indicate that the government is opening up the emerging industry to the private sector.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission is now offering to review applications of firms applying to set up chained imaging diagnostic clinics in advance, according to a document released in August.

This is part of a national drive that began in September 2015 to improve grassroots medical services to ease the burden on state-run hospitals.

As the world’s second-largest economy sees its population age, the medical and health care industry looks set to grow. China’s overall health expenditures accounted for only 5.5% of its gross domestic product in 2014, far behind the world’s average of 9.9%, according to the World Bank.

Siemens is not the only new player looking to enter the market. A subsidiary of Ping An Insurance Group of China, the world’s second-largest insurer by value, announced last week that it will invest 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) in the construction of 100 imaging diagnostic clinics.

Other sector hopefuls include real estate company Cosmos Group Co. Ltd., and photography firm IGI Vision Technology, and two minor operators, Hangzhou Lianzhong Medical Science Co. Ltd. and KADA (Shandong) Medical Imaging Ltd. — whose core business is only imaging diagnostics. Both of the smaller companies are listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange's Nasdaq-style ChiNext Board.

China’s medical and health care technology sector will be the second-largest in the world and maintain 14% annual growth through 2020, Boston Consulting Group estimates.

Contact reporter Coco Feng (renkefeng@caixin.com); editor Kerry Nelson (kerry@caixin.com)

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