Make the Move | China

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Fraser Clarke

It’s at this time of year that many people start considering (or in many cases start re-considering) the idea of a move abroad.

A new year brings with it new hopes, a fresh start and the opportunity to do something you’ve been hoping to do for a while. So why not make 2018 the year you finally go for that new life overseas?

Over the final six weeks of 2017 we’re looking at a select group of the countries we work with, and examining why you should make the move in 2018.

During this we’ll recap some of the major news stories from 2017, look at the health issues facing the country, what sort of person would be suited to a move, and what the future could have in store. So read on, and join in the conversation on social media using the #OdyMTM2018.

In the penultimate installment we’re going to take a look at China, a country that has only recently started to open its doors to expat medics - offering them a truly unique and exciting opportunity.

What Made the News in 2017?

Unlike the other locations we’ve looked at in this series, China is a country that we’ve only recently started working with. As a result our news roundup is less comprehensive, however that shouldn’t detract from an important year of development.

We started our partnership with China by looking at five reasons to move to the country. High quality infrastructure and a unique cultural experience both played a role, however we reckoned most people would be taken in by the prospect of influencing the future of healthcare. A young and keen workforce need leaders - and we know that many of our candidates would be perfect for that role.

A month later we looked at a major issue facing China - high smoking rates and a lack of education about the damage the habit can do. According to a survey published in Spring an estimated 59% of the country’s 316 million smokers had no intention of quitting.

In late summer we looked at the advantages and disadvantages of moving to various locations, in our ‘which location is for me’ special. We concluded that China is perfect for experienced medics looking to pass on their skills, or for those looking to seriously enhance their CV.

A fortnight later came some positive news, as a survey of wealthy Chinese families revealed that they valued their health over wealth.

In October we reported on the Far East’s high breast cancer rates, with figures in China rising by 3.5% annually between 2000 and 2013. Rapid development and traditional attitudes were cited as major reasons for this.

Later in the month we brought you our ‘Far East for 18’ feature, looking at reasons to take your skills to some of the world’s fastest growing economies. A move to China may seem unusual now, however we don’t think that will be the case in another five years time.

Finally we reported on HSBC’s ExpatExplorer survey, where expats praised China’s influence on their career, wages and commented on how safe they felt - however they also reported that they found it difficult to fit into Chinese society.

What are the Biggest Health Issues in China?

Pollution Related Respiratory Conditions - China is known around the world for the vast levels of pollution it emits each year and so, unsurprisingly, that has started to have a serious impact on the nation’s health.

Estimates suggest that between 350,000 and 500,000 people die each year as a direct result of the so called ‘Airpocalypse’, with rates of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), acute lower respiratory infections and lung cancer being amongst the world’s highest.

An Ageing Population - Following a ‘baby boom’ by advocating having a smaller family (with the one child policy for example) now means that China is facing a range of issues related to an ageing population.

By the year 2035 more than 25% of the country’s population will be over the age of 60, with that putting them at an increased risk of conditions such as dementia, vertigo, strokes and chronic pain.

Tobacco - Incredibly recent statistics have shown that 60% of Chinese doctors are smokers, whilst this rate can rise even further in more rural areas, and amongst people in less well paid professions.

Smoking is deeply ingrained into Chinese culture despite smoking bans and increased taxes. It is still considered polite to offer colleagues and friends cigarettes at social functions, whilst the majority of smokers do not consider their habit to be a problem.

This is reflected in Cancer rates, with 28% of deaths in the country coming as a result of the condition. Smoking combined with poor air quality can be a deadly mix, and it’s unsurprising to see the prevelance of Lung Cancer continuing to rise.

Who is Suited to a Move?

This is something that we’re asked frequently, we believe that it is most suited to an experienced medic looking to focus more on educating the next generation within a modern, competitive environment, or to a slightly younger, but still experienced, career-driven individual looking to give their CV a serious boost.

That’s not to say that China isn’t suitable for others, however it is best suited to these two groups at this moment in time in our view.

What Does the Future Have In Store?

Plenty. Economic growth across the Far East is projected to rise at a remarkable rate in the near future, whilst new facilities are regularly being completed throughout the country’s major cities.

Unlike the Gulf, the region is not impacted by the oil price drop, whilst manufacturing, tourism and financial services are all industries which are continuing to grow and thrive. This means that both homegrown and foreign investment in the healthcare sector has rarely been higher.

Get ahead of the rest and secure your move to the country today!

Register with us to start your journey