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Healthcare sector boosted by State Council guidance

2013-10-16 08:48 Global Times Web Editor: qindexing

The release of new guidance for the healthcare sector by the State Council is likely to benefit both the industry and consumers, an analyst told the Global Times Tuesday.

"I think it will have a positive impact on the healthcare industry. People will experience better services as the industry gradually opens up," He Zhili, a healthcare sector analyst with Southwest Securities, told the Global Times Tuesday.

The State Council guidance released Monday set a target for the healthcare market to be worth 8 trillion yuan ($1.31 trillion) by 2020.

The guidance called for more funding for health services, greater access to healthcare and health insurance, improved retiree health care systems and development of Chinese traditional medicine.

To achieve the goals, the State Council said market entry barriers for private capital would be relaxed, and that financial institutions would be encouraged to invest in healthcare enterprises.

Preferential taxation policies will also be available for high-technology companies, and land use benefits will be given to non-profit organizations.

According to data from Southwest Securities, hospital income - which includes doctor services, outpatient services and hospital pharmaceutical sales - was around 1.34 trillion yuan in 2011, accounting for 2.84 percent of GDP.

No complete data is available for the whole industry, but He estimated that hospital income, plus insurance premiums and sales by pharmacies in 2011 would have been around 3 percent of GDP.

"The proportion in the US is around 20 percent, so there is huge potential for growth. Meanwhile, as the elderly population grows, demand for medical care will increase accordingly," He said.

A Mckinsey report released in March 2012 revealed that the proportion of Chinese people aged over 65 will reach 10-15 percent of the population across the country, and 20 percent in China's six most crowded cities by 2020.

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