Reporter's Diary: Boao's booming medical industry
Updated 14:37, 26-Mar-2019
By Yang Chengxi
This week I flew from chilly Shanghai to the steamy warmth of Boao Town in south China's island province of Hainan. I am no stranger to these tropical surroundings as I had covered the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) twice already. 
On Monday, one day from the start of the BFA, I took a car to visit one of the newly opened clinics in Boao. The government has high expectations for the healthcare industry to be a pillar of the island's economy.
The brand new fertility center I visited was among the more than 400 healthcare firms that settled in the Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone. The founder, Dr. Han Xiaohong, heads one of China's top healthcare conglomerates, Ciming.
For this clinic, the company chose not to situate their home base in Beijing, but Boao, for several reasons. Of course, the natural environment is nothing but relaxing for any patient to spend time here, but the biggest reason is the island's policy environment.
Authorities have slashed red tape and shortened approval time for healthcare investment projects to as little as two months. Dr. Han said the zone allows for imports of new medicine, equipment and the adoption of new procedures and practices. He noted that they have many innovations in the clinic that wouldn't be possible if registered in other places in the country.
One of her innovations is an international medical team.
The U.S. team of doctors that will practice in the new clinic. /CGTN Photo

The U.S. team of doctors that will practice in the new clinic. /CGTN Photo

This clinic has registered 12 American doctors with permission to practice in the zone for up to three years. In the past, many Chinese couples would need to apply for visas, and spend a fortune as well, to travel to places like the U.S. and the EU for high-end assisted reproductive procedures. But now they have access to these top-tier doctors and equipment down here in China: same services yet with lower cost. 
The medical zone attracts foreign healthcare institutions as well with an investment negative list. As a result, several international institutions have joined, offering high-end cancer treatment and cosmetic surgeries.
On Tuesday, I will start my reporting on the BFA. The town is filled with participants and representatives this time of the year. But I am sure with the rise of medical tourism, Boao will keep itself busy.