The Chinese national government has established a special economic zone on Hainan Island with a focus on healthcare. Medical device manufacturers seeking sales growth in China should be aware of the Boao Hope City development as a sales target, particularly for new, or innovative medical devices.
Located on the eastern side of Hainan island, Boao Hope City offers manufacturers many opportunities for sales growth and clinical research. Established in 2018, the Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone of Hainan Free Trade Port is a major initiative by the Chinese government to develop the province and continue taking steps towards trade reform. In addition to medical tourism, the Chinese Community Party (CCP) also intends on building a high-level free trade port with more open and free trade policies by 2025. Some of the advantages include visa free entry and easier access for foreign investors to Chinese companies and for Chinese companies and citizens to foreign companies. By 2030, the island is expected to be a world-renowned medical tourism destination with leading multinational companies conducting cutting edge research and treatments.
Medical Tourism on the Island
Boao Hope City now has 10 hospitals in operation with another 5 institutions expected to open by the end of 2020. Boao Hope City will initially provide wellness-oriented services including health management, rehabilitation, cosmetic surgeries, anti-aging treatments, and general research. One of the major features making this pilot zone appealing is how accommodating the regulations will be for foreign investors and visitors.
Below are some of the primary benefits Boao Hope City will offer compared to other regions in China:
- Expedited approval of Drugs and Medical Devices – Requires sponsorship from a local health professional and medical institution. Approved by local Hainan FDA office.
- Easy access for foreign professionals to come and go, making it more appealing for foreign investment and expert medical personnel.
- Allows patients to take specific drugs out of the pilot zone for personal use, even if they haven’t been approved in China.
- Increased cooperation with international organizations that gather real-world clinical data. The data can then be used to help expedite product approval for the mainland China population.
- Public Chinese hospitals will be able to take part in more private industry activities such as franchising, branding, and licensing technology to other institutions within the pilot zone.
- Development of new private insurance schemes to help pay for treatments and drugs.
- Develop a credit monitoring system for investors in the zone.
- Establish a post market surveillance system for evaluating and monitoring imported drugs and medical devices to facilitate clinical use and ensure public safety.