HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, China

Australian firms hit gold in China's US$581b aged-care market

The number of nursing homes has more than tripled.

Australian healthcare service providers are among the biggest winners as China moves to revamp its aged-care industry, a report by BMI Research revealed.

Australian aged-care providers are moving into China, encouraged by the size and demographics of the ageing population and the growing middle class’ ability to afford aged care for their parents and themselves in the future.

In fact, health services are a key element of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement which came into effect in 2015. This means that healthcare service providers from Australia are well-positioned to enter China’s aged-care market, which according to government figures is worth AUD787b (USD581b) and could grow to AUD2.5t (USD1.8t) by 2030.

South Australian aged-care providers such as Eldercare, Southern Cross Care and Life Care formed a joint venture in 2017, Australian Ageing and Wellness Services (AAWS), to provide services in China. AAWS also signed a 12-month contract to deliver coaching and development services to a new aged-care provider, Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital in Yantai, East China’s Shandong province.

In 2017, Melbourne-based Sapphire International teamed up with Sungin, a subsidiary company of China’s Fosun Group, to develop an aged-care center. Lendlease, Australia’s largest owner, operator and developer of senior living communities, recently signed a 50-year land usage contract with the Qingpu district government of Shanghai to develop and operate a senior living community in China with the aim of providing 900 new independent living units surrounded by recreation areas, health and well-being facilities, and a community clubhouse. 

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