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Beijing remains a preferred destination for domestic medical tourism


Increasing numbers of patients are traveling to Beijing for medical treatment, according to a recent report by the city’s Health and Family Planning Commission. The growth rate in the number of patients in Beijing hospitals continued to outpace the city’s population growth rate in 2013 — Beijing hospitals received 8 percent more patients than in 2012 (with over 218 million outpatients and 2.9 million inpatients), while the city’s population grew by only 4.41 percent during the year.

Peking Union Medical College Hospital

Peking Union Medical College Hospital (Xiehe Hospital) is considered by many to be the best general hospital in China. The state-run hospital boasts a reputable foreigners’ wing, with many English-speaking doctors who have been trained overseas.

Domestic medical tourism is driven by stark differences in the quality of medical services provided across China, and has created a major burden for hospitals in Beijing. More than 50 percent of patients who travel to Beijing seeking treatment come from five provinces and regions: Hebei, Shandong, Shanxi and Henan provinces, as well as the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.  These patients often come seeking not only need basic treatment, but also luxury and VIP medical services.

To ease the burden on its public hospitals, Beijing approved 34 new private hospitals in 2013, and had 374 private hospitals by the end of the year, accounting for more than half of the hospitals in the city.

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