HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Here's why China remains an attractive spot for Singapore healthcare players

Raffles Medical Group plans to set up two hospitals in the country.

Whilst challenges persist for healthcare players eyeing to tap China for growth, investments still came pouring in the country.

According to OCBC Investment Research, China remained an attractive choice for expansion plans. This is exemplified by Raffles Medical Group's foray into the country with two planned hospitals.

"With a 400-bed hospital in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area already in the pipeline, Raffles Medical Group had announced the development of a 700-bed hospital in Liangjiang New Area of Chongqing, China, which is targeted for completion by 2Q18," OCBC Investment Research said.

Both of these hospitals are situated in China’s economic development areas, and the latter could be poised to enjoy a potentially significant addressable patient population given Chongqing’s economic developments and its stance as a major beneficiary of China’s Silk Road initiatives.

Meanwhile, Q & M Dental proposed a spin-off of its subsidiary based in Liaoning Province, Northern PRC region via the proposed listing of Aoxin Q & M Dental Group, slated for listing on SGX Catalist on 26 April.

“Tapping on new markets has become strategically important for private healthcare companies to sustain growth in the long run, especially against a backdrop of rising competition from both its private peers and local public healthcare institutions. However, time will tell on whether such expansion plans could be successful,” OCBC Investment Research said.

China is also an important source of foreign patients for healthcare institutions in Singapore and Malaysia, particularly for Health Management International.

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