China's Wanda to invest $503m in 3 UK-run hospitals

China's Wanda to invest $503m in 3 UK-run hospitals

Dalian Wanda Group Co is venturing into the healthcare sector with a 15 billion yuan (S$3.3 billion) investment in three hospitals in China, to be managed by a United Kingdom company.

Wanda, led by Asia's richest man Wang Jianlin, has joined hands with the UK-based International Hospitals Group for hospitals in Shanghai, Chengdu, Sichuan province, as well as Qingdao, Shandong province.

First off the block would be the international hospital in Qingdao, which is likely to open in July 2018, while construction on the other two will begin this year.

The hospital in Shanghai will be the largest among the three hospitals. It will have an investment of 8 billion yuan and 1,000 beds.

The hospitals will provide international standard care overseen by foreign directors, it said.

"Wanda is looking to bring top international hospitals to China to cater to the high-tech healthcare demand in cities," said Wang.

The co-operation with Wanda will help IHG enter the fast-growing healthcare market in China, said Chester King, chairman of IHG in Asia. The UK firm manages 450 healthcare programs across 50 countries.

IHG signed contract with the local government in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province, in March 2015 to establish a public hospital and the programme will fructify in three years.

Other high-end foreign hospitals are also setting their sights on the Chinese healthcare market.

Local government officials in Guangdong province said last year that the United States-based Massachusetts General Hospital would manage a 500-bed hospital in the province that would open by 2018.

Mayo Clinic, another leading healthcare group from the US, is already present in China through a joint venture with Hillhouse Capital Group.

It is the best time for private capital to flow into the Chinese healthcare sector as the government has announced several favourable policies for the sector, said Zheng Jiabao, an analyst with Qianzhan Industry Research Institute, a Shenzhen-based consulting firm.

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