China’s Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone has seen a surge in visitors in the first two months of 2023, with over 34,000 visitors recorded, up by over 37% year-on-year. The special medical zone, located in southern China’s island province of Hainan, offers world-class medical tourism services to domestic and international patients, and is China’s first and only such zone. Established in 2013, it has introduced a regulatory system to optimize the approval, customs clearance, use and supervision of imported medical devices and drugs, and introduced its own insurance system to cover the gap in insurance for imported medicines.
According to an official from the zone’s administration, Boao Lecheng is able to use medical devices and drugs licensed abroad but not yet in China, providing patients with advanced international-standard diagnosis and treatment. The zone has introduced around 300 urgently needed medical devices and drugs, and has established relations with nearly 80 pharmaceutical device and drug manufacturers in 18 countries, allowing patients access to world-class medical services.
With the global medical tourism industry expected to reach USD 250bn by 2025, China has been investing in the sector, and Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone is one of its key initiatives to attract medical tourists from all over the world. It has also helped to establish Hainan as a leading destination for medical tourism, providing visitors with high-quality healthcare services, advanced medical technology and scenic tourism experiences.