Seattle company helps reopen China hospital

Updated: 2016-10-28 11:44

By Linda Deng in Seattle(China Daily USA)

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Columbia China, a Seattle-based health care company, this week celebrates the reopening of the 232-bed Shanghai Kaiyuan Orthopedic Hospital as an orthopedic center of excellence operating by the highest international standards.

Columbia China spent $75 million to acquire and retrofit the hospital in Shanghai's Pudong District.

The reopening is part of Columbia China's plan to expand in China through both acquisitions and greenfield projects and to provide China's growing middle-class population with affordable, patient-centered care across a spectrum of healthcare and senior services.

Beijing hopes to attract more private money into the sector to reduce the burden on the public hospital system and trim a healthcare bill set to hit $1.3 trillion by 2020.

While state-run hospitals still dominate the market, there has been an explosion in the number of investments in private facilities over the past few years as China's government relaxed rules for private investment.

China's Wanda Group signed a memorandum of understanding with Britain's International Hospital Group (IHG) in 2015 for the investment of $2.3 billion in hospitals in major cities of China, including Shanghai, Chengdu and Qingdao, tapping into a reform drive to give private firms a larger role in healthcare.

Nashville-based Chinaco Healthcare Corp. brought their first China facilities online in 2013.

Columbia Pacific Management began to shift the emphasis of its China investments from senior care facilities to hospitals in 2014.

"China's demand for healthcare services and senior living at international standards is unprecedented and growing every day," said Nate McLemore, managing director of Columbia Pacific Management, one of Columbia China's parent companies.

"While we aggressively develop our own hospitals from the ground up, we are also always looking for opportunities to acquire hospitals and use our decades of healthcare experience to upgrade the building, services, technology and training to international standards," he added.

After buying the Kaiyuan hospital last year, Columbia China hired Dr. Wu Haishan, one of China's most well known orthopedic surgeons, as its president.

Wu retired last year from the public health system after more than 30 years. He most recently served as chief physician of orthopedics at Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, and professor of joint surgery at the Second Military Medical University in Shanghai.

Columbia China's retrofit of the Kaiyuan hospital, designed by B+H Architects, expanded the hospital from 200 to 232 beds and from four to six operating theaters. It also added a new facade, lobby, all new inpatient and outpatient rooms, rehab areas and upgraded equipment, including new MRI and CT scanners.

The reopening of the hospital was marked this week with a celebration attended by government leaders, business partners, medical experts and other distinguished guests from around China and overseas.

"The Shanghai Kaiyuan Orthopedic Hospital is positioned to be the Orthopedic Center of Excellence in joint, spine, minimally invasive surgeries and sports medicine, with the highest standards recognized around the world," said Bee Lan Tan, president and group CEO of Columbia China.

Columbia China is a joint venture between Singapore investment company Temasek and Seattle-based Columbia Pacific Management, one of the largest and fastest-growing healthcare providers in Asia.

Temasek has invested about $250 million in Columbia China, which results in a 50/50 joint venture with Columbia Pacific.

Seattle company helps reopen China hospital

(China Daily USA 10/28/2016 page2)