06-Dec-18, South China Morning Post

Police have arrested 132 people across China over a medical tourism scam targeting wealthy Chinese that netted nearly RMB1 bn (USD145 mn).

Police bust USD145 mn medical tourism scam in China (c) Chinanews cn

Image: Chinanews.cn

In Jan-18 a woman in Zhejiang province reported a beauty salon to police, saying she had been scammed out of RMB6 mn between 2016 and 2017. The beauty salon in Jiaxing had offered the woman a free trip abroad, where she had a comprehensive medical examination and a personalised health check to identify whether she was at risk from certain diseases. She was then convinced to buy expensive “cancer prevention” medication.

Chinese businesses have been cashing in on the rising number of affluent mainlanders seeking medical treatment overseas. Strategic research firm Global Growth Markets estimates some 500,000 Chinese travel abroad for medical tourism every year, spending at least USD10 bn annually.

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 Healthcare insights