The Chinese island of Hainan is planning to become one of the world’s top medical tourism destinations.
The China Daily reported the island’s governor, Liu Cigui, as saying that Hainan will build a series of new medical centres, as well as undertaking a major recruitment drive to attract leading doctors and medical practitioners to the island. A special focus will be put on expectant mothers.
“We plan to recruit 100 obstetricians and gynaecologists and 100 paediatricians this year, by offering high salaries and establishing professional maternity centres,” said the governor was quoted saying on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress.
“Hainan will build first-class hospitals… to cater for everyone. We are trying to cater to the different needs of all tourists and residents,” Liu added.
One significant investment is the CNY19.8 billion (US$2.9bn) Bo’ao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone, which will house a variety of health facilities and state-of-the-art treatments such as cell therapy.
The focus on medical tourism is the latest part of a national strategy to turn Hainan into a major tourism destination. The island is already home to numerous international resorts, a large cruise port, extensive conference facilities and the world’s largest duty-free shopping outlet. Hainan is even aiming to capitalise on the space tourism sector, with a new spaceport in Wenchang, northeast Hainan, having undertaken its first successful launch in 2016.
“Nearly one million tourists visited Sanya during Spring Festival. Other places in Hainan also saw a 30 to 40% rise in the number of tourists,” Liu was quoted saying. “I hope that tourists will enjoy the island’s beautiful scenery and enjoy a healthy life.”
More than 60m people visited Hainan last year, the majority of whom were Chinese domestic travellers.