SHANGHAI, April 10 (Reuters) - Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd
will invest 70 billion yuan ($10 billion) in a health park in
China's southwest, the firm said in a statement sent to Reuters
on Monday, as some of the country's biggest companies look to
tap demand for private healthcare.
Wanda, headed by China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, said it
had signed an agreement with the Chengdu city government to
create a 'park' with two international general hospitals, eight
small specialized hospitals and 30 healthcare-related firms.
The investment comes as China's public hospitals are facing
tough demands from a fast-ageing population and tightening
budgets as the government looks to reduce state hospitals'
reliance on drug sales. This is creating space for private
Wanda - whose business includes property development,
shopping malls, cinema chains and theme parks - has been
spending heavily on parks around China related to sports,
leisure and health, to capitalise on growing middle class
Rival conglomerate Fosun International Ltd is also
increasing its focus on healthcare and has announced various
healthcare-related deals over the past year.
China's private hospital market has been a lure for local
and foreign hospital operators, though changeable regulations
regarding foreign investment in the sector, a dearth of doctors
and nascent private insurance schemes have slowed growth.
($1 = 6.9034 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Christopher Cushing)