China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone will perfect its facilities as the first international hospital in the zone is scheduled to be completed next year.
Raffles Hospital Shanghai is jointly invested and built by local property company Shanghai Lujiazui Group and Raffles Medical Group from Singapore. The Chinese company will hold 30 percent stake while the Singaporean medical group will hold the rest.
Loo Choon Yong, executive chairman of the Raffles Medical Group, said that they will invest 800 million yuan (2 million) while the total investment is expected to be up to 1 billion yuan.
As the first international hospital to be established in the Shanghai FTZ, Raffles Hospital Shanghai laid the foundation in late 2015 and has completed basic construction and equipment installation so far. The building will have its roof capped next year.
With a gross floor area of 40,000 square meters on a 12,500 square meters land site, the hospital will provide 400 beds, with medical specialists covering cardiology, fertility, oncology and orthopedics.
Local expat residents and international patients in Shanghai will be the major target for this new hospital.
About 70 percent of the medical staff members will be made up of overseas professionals at the preliminary stage, according to the management team of the hospital. But for the long-term development of the hospital, more local staff members will be recruited. The local specialist doctors, nurses and healthcare managers will be trained in Singapore for three to six months before they assume their positions at Raffles Hospital Shanghai.
According to Loo, the aim of setting up this hospital in Shanghai is to provide "quality healthcare to those who live, work and visit there."
Raffles Hospital Shanghai will be located in the international business district of Pudong Qiantan area within the Shanghai FTZ. According to the plan of the municipal government, it will develop into an upgraded version of the Lujiazui financial center which combines business of headquarters, culture and communications, as well as sports and recreation.
Raffles Medical Group operates the Raffles Hospital in Singapore and more than 100 medical centers in 13 Asian cities, including Osaka, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City. The group is the only member of the world's leading healthcare organization Mayo Clinic Care Network outside of North America.
The central government gave green light to the wholly foreign-owned medical institutions in the Shanghai FTZ, according to the framework plan of the Shanghai FTZ released by the State Council in Oct 2013. It has been one of the major attempts regarding the opening up of the service industry in the zone. Prior to that, foreign investments were only allowed to participate in the management of a hospital only if a Chinese company held at least 30 percent stake in the hospital.
"The opening up will facilitate the introduction of world's leading medical equipment and technology, and benefit the local residents in the long-run," said Ma Hong, a senior analyst at market consultancy Shanghai Enmore.
According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, there were some 200 medical institutions in China with participation from overseas capital by the end of 2014.