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Medical tourism groups from China to visit next month

2010/03/20 19:50:24

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Two high-end medical tourism groups fromChina will come to Taiwan in April and are expected to bring insubstantial revenue, the semi-official Taiwan External TradeDevelopment Council (TAITRA) said Saturday.

TAITRA Deputy Secretary-General Walter Yeh said that with theaverage cost for a physical check-up ranging from NT$50,000(US$1,577) to NT$150,000 (US$4,730), the 64 people from those groupsare expected to spend a lot of money during their five- to seven-dayvisits.

The medical tour groups were organized by the Guangzhou-basedXian Health and Medical Center, which just opened Wednesday and isfunded by several Taiwanese businessmen operating in China -- withcapital of 35 million yuan (US$5.1 million).

The membership fee for joining the center is 38,800 yuan peryear, and every member is entitled to a six-day trip to Taiwan,including a one-day physical check-up service, said Yeh, who attendedthe opening ceremony of the center on behalf of the TAITRA.

While southern China's Guangdong province enjoys the highest GDPin the country, targeting its capital city Guangzhou -- which has apopulation of 20 million -- to promote medical tourism in Taiwan willbring remarkable business opportunities, Yeh said.

With the assistance of the TAITRA, the center, which has over1,000 members, reached agreements with 18 medical centers andhospitals in Taiwan last year to organize the visits.

Yeh added that as Taiwan has a good reputation for hipreplacements and knee and heart surgery, the center can also helpintroduce those services to potential Chinese clients.

(By Shu-yuan Lin and Fanny Liu)