Starting next year, medical service suppliers from Macau, as well as from Hong Kong and Taiwan will be allowed to invest and operate wholly-owned hospitals in certain provinces and municipalities, the central government has announced.

The Chinese Ministry of Health stressed that the Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan suppliers will enjoy priority in operating medical services, amid government efforts to further open the medical service market, Xinhua reported.

Foreign medical service suppliers are still not allowed to operate wholly-owned hospitals on the Chinese mainland and the policy remains unchanged.

The municipalities and provinces where wholly-owned hospitals will be allowed include Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangdong, Fujian and Hainan.

Macau and Hong Kong service suppliers will be also allowed to set up convalescent hospitals in the form of wholly-owned or joint venture operations, to provide medical services in Guangdong Province from the beginning of next year. 

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