South China’s Hainan Province is stepping up efforts to boost its medical sector, with the Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone in Qionghai to be at the centre of promoting the island as a medical tourism destination.

Established with the approval of the State Council in 2013 and granted certain preferential policies, the pilot zone is located in Boao town of Hainan Free Trade Port. It aims at providing high-quality medical tourism-related services to visitors from home and abroad.

The centre aims to provide cutting-edge medical products and solutions, including specially licensed medical treatments, cancer prevention and care, health management services, rehabilitation, plastic surgery and anti-aging treatment.

“As China’s first and only international medical tourism pilot zone, the Lecheng pilot zone in Hainan benefits from many exclusive favourable policies,” told Liu Zhefeng, deputy director of the pilot zone administration to official news agencies in China.

In addition to preferential policies such as zero tariffs, low tax rates and simplified tax procedures — which are some of the benefits of being located in the Hainan FTP — Boao Lecheng pilot zone is also allowed to introduce new and innovative medicines, medical devices and technologies that have not yet been approved for use on the Chinese mainland but have been approved overseas. In special cases, patients are even allowed to bring medicines out of the area.

“Lecheng is consequently becoming increasingly attractive to medical tourists not only from China but also from Southeast Asia and Belt and Road Initiative-related countries and regions,” Liu said, referring to the impact of the new policy for Hainan tourism.

In the summer ITB Newsroom revealed that Cyprus was vying to become Europe’s next medical tourism destination.

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