China ophthalmology worth USD3.6 bn amid strong burst of growth
3-Aug-16, by Pete Read, Global Growth Markets
Rising diagnosis rates, government initiatives, social trends and diabetes are contributing to a strong burst of growth in the ophthalmology market in Asia. Rising numbers of affluent patients are ready to pay for elective surgery such as vision correction. And national health insurance and the rapidly emerging middle classes are helping to fund essential treatment, fuelling overall spending including a USD3.6 bn market in China, where M&A in the sector is picking up rapidly.
Multiple factors fuelling ophthalmology in Asia-Pacific
Diagnosis rates for eye conditions and vision problems are rising in many Asia-Pacific countries. Governments are moving to improve the cataract surgery rate, which in some countries is ten times lower than in the US.
Social trends such as urbanisation, rising education levels and more time spent looking at handheld device screens are all driving up the incidence of vision problems. And the soaring prevalence of diabetes in India, China and Southeast Asia is leading to millions more cases of diabetic retinopathy.
Image: (c) Embassy of PRC
All these factors are contributing to a strong burst of growth in the market for ophthalmology in China and the Asia-Pacific region.
Rising numbers of affluent patients are ready to pay for elective surgery. Expanding national health insurance programs and the rapidly emerging middle classes are helping to fund essential treatment, fuelling overall spending in the market.
Rapid market development in China
In China, the latest research by Global Growth Markets shows a USD3.6 bn market for ophthalmology treatment, performed in almost 6,500 hospitals including 500 specialised ophthalmology hospitals.
Image: (c) Global Growth Markets
This market is projected to grow at 13% a year to USD6.7 bn by 2020, led by vision correction surgery where over 8 million procedures are forecast to be performed in 2020.
The number of specialised ophthalmology hospitals in China is projected to increase by a massive 70% to 850 in the next five years, accounting for 70% of all procedures by 2020.
Private hospital groups expanding
Private groups are expanding rapidly to address the demand. Aier Group, the largest ophthalmic hospital group in China, is leading the sector, handling more than 3 million outpatients annually. The Shenzhen-listed company owns over 100 ophthalmic hospitals throughout the country, and plans to have 200 properties by 2017, to which end it set up four M&A funds in 2014/15.
Other contenders include Hua Xia, Chaoju, Bright Eye and Xinshijie, all of which own more than 10 properties in various locations.
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