Healthcare is one of the crucial areas. Specifically, the FTP is the only place in China that provides easy market access for suppliers of international novel medical devices, health technologies, and innovative pharmaceutical products. International healthcare providers are entitled to fast-track procedures, no NMPA (ex-CFDA) licensing, real-world clinical data sharing, and reduced time of approval from 429 working days to 58 working days. One of the key healthcare industrial parks is Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone (Lecheng Pilot Zone)
Finnish health technology providers
China's outbound medical tourism industry has been booming in recent years. Estimates show 500,000 outbound Chinese medical travelers spend at least $10 billion on treatment and travel each year. Solid reasons behind this trend of development is Chinese people's intention to seek for better and more advanced medical diagnostics, treatment, and health and wellbeing at overseers markets. Therefore, there is a strong need to create a platform and a regional hub in China for international innovative health technologies to be available to both Chinese consumers and international travelers. Additionally, Covid-19 has further sped up Chinese government's intention to open up its healthcare sector to international solutions providers as outbound travelling is still of uncertainty and hesitation. Therefore, Hainan Free Trade Port provides good market access opportunities for international medical technology providers and an excellent R&D centre for global collaboration in health and wellbeing.
As one of the key medical industry park, Lecheng Pilot Zone was established in 2013 and was the first of 11 industrial parks in Hainan to have preferential policies of international trade and investment. Lecheng Pilot Zone is focused on novel medical devices, health tech solutions, and pharmaceutical products that are not currently available in China but in strong demands from domestic consumers in particular in areas of ophthalmology, otology, dermatology, cardiology, oncology, orthopaedics, traditional Chinese medicine, fertility, rehabilitation, medicine and plastic surgery. However, other disease categories are also welcome as the Pilot Zone is currently expanding to multi-disciplinary practice.
So far 50 licensed medical devices including artificial eardrum, artificial cornea, and new tumor drugs were imported and used for the first time in China at the beginning of 2020. In total, more than 100 medical devices, health technologies, and innovative drugs have been introduced to Lecheng Pilot Zone. Companies offering these products and services include AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, B.Braun, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Roche Diagnostics, Pfizer, Advanced Bionics, Allergan, Cochlear, MED-EL etc. In addition, more than 10 medical institutes are already in operation at the Pilot Zone such as Boao Super Hospital, Boao Sino-French Rehab Medical Center, Boao International Hospital, Boao Evergrande International Hospital, and Cimingboao International Hospital.
In the longer-term, Finnish health tech providers would further benefit from the FTP programme and get easier access to other China markets in particular after the fast-track registration with NMPA.