Healthcare and Lifesciences Talking Points, 18-03-2016


Bain Capital invests $US150 million in China healthcare

Bain Capital is set to pay $US150 million to acquire a majority share in Asia Pacific Medical Group, a China focused hospital operator. The deal will be the first for the private equity firm’s new Asia fund. China’s healthcare sector has been on the rise as of late, with the number of people over the age of 60 predicted to double in the next 30 years sparking considerable interest in the healthcare industry. Currently 47% of hospitals in China are privately owned, up from 27% in 2008 according to a Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu report, with investors piling into the sector daily. Last year alone, Hillhouse Capital Group teamed up with May Clinic for a joint venture in China and TPG Capital and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical conducted a buyout of Chindex International, which operates several private hospitals in China. The Bain investment into the Asia Pacific Medical Group will provide new funds to expand operations in China’s more populous cities. Click here to read the full article.

Sustaining goals of health equality, the 10th Anniversary of Close the Gap

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda has voiced a need to maintain bipartisan commitment to the Close the Gap 2030 goals. Yesterday was the campaigns 10th Anniversary, with around 1500 events registered to celebrate. Speaking at the Redfern Community Centre, Mr Gooda stated that Australia was ‘heading in the right direction’ in terms of meeting the campaigns goals, but also stressed the need for continued commitment to long-term funding of these goals. He refers specifically to budget cuts and re-shuffling of national spending, where most government funding is up for consideration, and made it clear that you couldn’t close the gap and cut funding simultaneously. Mr Gooda, along with co-chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples Jackie Huggins, emphasised the importance of increasing government consultation with Indigenous communities – ‘the leadership has to come from the government without any question’. Click here to read the full article.

Government calls for better elderly mental health care

Chinese political advisers have called for better elderly mental healthcare at the recently concluded Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). A poll conducted in Suzhou city of 1000 elderly people last month brought to light that 12.5% of those surveyed had mental health disorders, and when asked what type of care they preferred over 90% responded with psychological care over material support. China’s aging population is on the rise. Last year China had 220 million people above the age of 60, making up 16.1% of the country’s population with estimates suggesting this number will grow to 300 million by 2025. Mr. Zhang Shiping, a political adviser and deputy head of the social and legal affairs committee of the CPPCC National Committee, emphasized the urgency of this growing population and the general need to improve mental care and healthcare in general for the growing number of elderly in China. Click here to read the full article.

Sweet sweet tax, Australians to pay big for sugary drinks

Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) chief executive Jane Martin has advocated for implementation of a tax on sugary drinks. This comes in response to Australia’s growing obesity problem and high consumption levels of sugar, with Martin claiming that a tax should be implemented. The social and political climate have aligned behind this over the past few years, with public concern over sugar intake gaining more traction. If implemented, the Australian Tax would follow the UK’s model, which was a surprising but influential stance against global obesity. Backlash has naturally come from within the Australia Beverage Council, with them claiming that sugary drinks make up tiny 1.7 percent of the average Australian adults kilojoule intake. However Professor Tim Gill, from the University of Sydney’s Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Exercise, has stated that it’s a solution that has been in the pipeline for years and should be considered effective and necessary. Click here to read the full article.