China: Macau gaming operators must promote health tourism

The Government of China wants to see gaming concessionaires in Macau develop ‘big health’ related projects and health tourism resorts. Macau’s large-scale resorts will be expected to develop health-oriented tourism projects and products, to contribute to the development of medical and health tourism.

A ‘suggestion’ from a China controlled local government is not the sort of suggestion that a European government would make, but more an order. If they want a gaming licence, operators in Macau must obey the suggestion.

Macau is officially known as the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Macau SAR).

The government is demanding that bidders increase and improve the image of Macau as a world centre for tourism and leisure, through health and wellbeing, and introduce activities and projects that can promote health-oriented tourism products.

The new Islands Health Care Complex has said it will diversify services aiming at medical tourism when it opens in 2023. The medical facility will be the first of its kind designed to provide medical tourism services in Macau. Also known as the Islands Hospital it will function as a public hospital and offer private medical services for medical tourists.

The main aim of the complex is to serve the population and provide medical services to people in Macau. Besides that, it wants to extend that service in regional cooperation projects such as the Greater Bay Area (GBA), and be able to attract patients from both the GBA as well as from abroad, namely from other Southeast Asian countries.

The government seeks to develop a local ‘big health’ industry. Big health, which aims to deliver health services that cover the entire care continuum, with an emphasis on health management and chronic disease management, is one of the four designated areas singled out by authorities to push for the SAR’s economic diversification alongside science and technology, culture and tourism, and modern finance.