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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Health care in China: A totally different ball game

If you work in the healthcare/pharma/ wellness industry then you should read this article in the McKinsey Journal. A couple of stats will take your breath away.

At a time when the UK and the US are agonising over healthcare spending the Chinese plan to increase their expenditure from $156 billion in 2006 to $357 billion in 2011. I am sure you can do the sums but that is doubling in 5 years.

The country has a good need to do this.The New England Journal of Medicine reported in 2010 that there were already 92 million diabetic patients and a further 150 million prediabetics in China. That is nearly a quarter of a trillion!

By comparison, the United States has almost 27 million diabetic patients.

In the period up to 2020, McKinsey estimates that 142 million people will migrate from the countryside to cities. The population of people aged 65 and older will almost double by 2030, to 223 million, from the current 122 million.

The dimensions of change and the speed of change in China are just amazing. Whilst London ponders if it will have another runway at Heathrow the Chinese are likely to build another 10.

Yes, yes I know that China has some big structural problems to overcome and there is always a slight chance that it might implode but assuming it keeps anything like on its current growth track it will re-write our assumptions about doing business. The sooner we start to reorientate around an AsiaPacific-centric view of the world the better.

The market for age-related stuff in China will be huge. Dick Stroud

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