China’s middle class set demand for private healthcare

China has long been targeted by international businesses for its large collection of billionaires, but its ever growing middle class are the ones changing the game – particularly in healthcare. With its population of 1.357 billion, public healthcare in China faces many challenges. From long waiting times for appointments to crowded wards in hospitals, Chinese citizens are getting restless.

More and more of China’s middle class are opting for private healthcare, with the market demand expected to grow from 241 billion yuan to 1.1 trillion yuan by 2020. The demand has already attracted many international insurers, and the appeal seems to be mutual, as these companies are viewed as more experienced in the industry than the available domestic offerings.

Although currently insurance companies are not making a profit in China, this is all expected to change thanks to the exceptionally large market: China’s middle class is the largest in the world, and currently only one in twenty citizens have purchased private insurance. Such a huge space for growth is not often come by, explaining why more and more insurers are investing in the country.

Internationally, this is good news, with expats having more offerings of private insurance to avoid the failing public healthcare system. And the industry itself is only set to keep growing, with increasing numbers of international companies heading east.