Mon, Apr 30, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan hospital brings maternity care to China

Staff writer, with CNA, BEIJING

The first maternity hospital to be jointly funded by Taiwanese and Chinese businesses is scheduled to open in late August in Beijing, which aims to bring Taiwan’s medical expertise to China and help supplement obstetric services in the Chinese capital, where maternity care resources are in short supply.

The hospital, a venture by the Kaohsiung-based Chien-Yu Hospital and Beijing-based Baodao Healthcare, is the first jointly funded hospital to be approved by China’s Ministry of Health after the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in 2010, hospital officials said.

The facility is aimed at upgrading medical services in China through the assistance of Taiwan’s medical and management expertise, they added.

According to a Taiwanese hospital employee, medical resources are less adequate in China — obstetric services in particular — adding that hospital beds in Beijing are in short supply at the moment, with some expectant women having to wait months to get one and other women opting to travel to other cities to give birth.

Citing as an example the northwestern district of Haidian (海淀), a hub for high-income earners, and home to 2.93 million people, the employee said there are 800 fewer maternity hospitals beds than required in the district, which shows there is an opportunity in this field for Taiwan.

With 200,000 babies being born each year and an average cost of NT$70,000 (US$2,380) per birth, the obstetric services market in Beijing is expected to be worth NT$14 billion annually, according to estimates by local Taiwanese businesspeople.

The hospital, which is located in Haidian, will be run on a Taiwanese model and be staffed with professionals from Taiwan, the US and China.

Baodao Healthcare Superintendent Zhuang Weizhou (莊維周) said the hospital will be committed to making women feel like they are at home rather than at a hospital.

In addition to introducing postpartum care, which is uncommon in China, the hospital will closely monitor its services in accordance with Taiwan’s hospital appraisal standards, as well as those set up by The Joint Commission, a US non-profit organization.

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