China is now the world’s second largest healthcare market. From 2006 to 2016, Chinese healthcare expenditures grew from $150 billion to $720 billion, increasing at a rate of 16.7% per year.
At the same time, China’s healthcare market is still relatively immature. China’s per capita healthcare spending is far below Western levels. In addition, China’s healthcare spending is only 5.5% of GDP, which is lower than Germany (11.3%), France (11.5%) and the United States (17.1%) and reflects the potential for substantial increases going forward.
The rapid growth of China’s healthcare spending is the result of the county’s continuing economic growth, aging population, and significant pollution challenges. However, these factors have also led to surging cancer rates, with cancer becoming the country’s leading cause of death.
In 2015, researchers estimate that China experienced 4.3 million newly diagnosed cancer cases, with an additional 2.8 million cancer deaths. Cancer of the lung and bronchus, stomach, liver, esophagus, and colon account for roughly 75% of all cancer deaths.
In response, China is now experiencing a surge of investment across its healthcare sector to improve treatment options. The following areas are of particular interest: cancer and immunotherapy, age-associated diseases, prenatal and postnatal care, gene therapy and diabetes.