HONG KONG and SHANGHAI, April 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An” or the “Group”, HKEX: 2318; SSE: 601318) is investing in a holistic strategy in digital healthcare to address the challenges of China’s rapidly aging population, rising public healthcare costs and a shortage of medical professionals.
Digital healthcare spending last year was about 7% of total healthcare spending in China, but the COVID-19 pandemic has driven wider acceptance of online healthcare services among the government, regulators, health care professionals, consumers and companies, Ping An Group Co-CEO Jessica Tan said on McKinsey’s Future of Asia podcast.
“We believe perhaps 20% to 25% [of healthcare services in China]could be online or even part of it can be online, but then the bulk is still going to be offline. You still need to solve the offline problem, and we believe that technology can be used to empower these professionals,” Ms Tan said.
Ping An has used its financial and technology expertise to create a closed-loop healthcare ecosystem with 12 Group entities supporting the government, healthcare service providers, medical professionals, social and commercial health insurers, and consumers.
“Healthcare services is a critical and differentiating part of our insurance, so we’ve bundled our insurance and healthcare services together,” Ms Tan said. “We’re one of the largest online healthcare providers, and we believe that this digitization of healthcare services is coming, and we would like to be one of the leading players in this area.”
China’s healthcare market is expected to grow from RMB6 trillion in 2019 to RMB16 trillion in 2030, she said. There is rapid growth in demand from an aging and increasingly affluent population and a supportive policy and regulatory environment in line with the national Healthy China 2030 initiative. However, there are major challenges: with 3.8 million doctors, 4.4 million nurses for population of 1.4 billion, there is a shortfall of as many as 700,000 doctors and millions of nurses, compared to Western countries. Rising costs must also be controlled: Chinese consumers are spending as much as 10% of their disposable income on health expenses, compared with