Construction of China's first special zone for medical travel will begin later this year.


The Boao Lecheng International Medical Travel Zone is at Boao Town in Qionghai city and covers an area of about 20 square kilometers. The areas in the plans include the Dale area and Xiaole Islet area. The Xiaole Area will consist of three projects: the Bole Zero-carbon Pavilion, a healthcare centre and a redevelopment project. Projects in the Dale Area include an advanced cancer treatment center, an international conference center and a healthcare infrastructure facility. As the first healthcare project in the zone, construction on the advanced cancer treatment center will begin this December and will be in use within 3 years.


Construction cost of the zone is estimated to reach US $ 16 million, and most of the projects are expected to be ready by 2016.Hainan province is constructing China's first special zone for medical travel, in order to attract domestic and international medical tourists. Traditionally in China, people prefer to stay where they are and seldom travel, but an increasing number of people are breaking with tradition. Particularly for older retired Chinese, when winter comes, they pack up and go to Hainan, China's tropical island province, to avoid the cold in the north.


At present Hainan is a good place for winter retirees, but there are few local medical services and amenities. Included in the new development will be traditional Chinese medicine and many wellness options.


Lu Zhiyuan of the Hainan Tourism Development Committee says Hainan Island has a unique advantage for developing medical tourism,” The island has very good air quality, very pure water, blue sky and ocean."


There is some confusion as to whether it is mainly a health and wellness destination and whether it really will have any potential to target overseas visitors. As with any Chinese state development, all statements are super optimistic and any criticism or awkward questions are promptly crushed.


In many ways it is all an experiment. The government is allowing several privileges and policies in the trial zone. Overseas medical institutions are allowed to set up business within the zone. Other preferential policies include lower taxes for imported medical instruments and medicines.




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