China will become the world’s largest IVF market
After the one-child policy was banned in October 2015, the demand for IVF babies in China is expected to increase. On January 1, 2016, due to the promotion of the comprehensive two-child policy, the demand for IVF children in China would be increase again. This will make the condition of overcrowded hospitals be worse, but it would create opportunities for overseas medical institutions that help train local doctors and develop underground clinics.
China has strict regulations on the domestic IVF market, prohibits gender selection, and requires birth certificates and marriage certificates. Moreover, the government prohibits some advanced steps on IVF operation. These regulations make patients have to look forward to the overseas medical treatment or seek treatment in some non-standard medical institutions in China.
Beijing’s strict controls make it difficult for private institutions to operate IVF in China, but it has created other gaps in the market because of the increasing demand for doctors and experts.
Jason Spittel, the global training director of American medical equipment manufacturer Cook Medical, said "China will become the largest IVF market all over the world, which may be achieved in the next two or three years."
Chinese patients and doctors said that the national IVF Baby Center is often overwhelmed, which is not surprising. According to the Ministry of Health, each medical center serves about 3.8 million people, while the US number is 700,000 people per institution.
An anonymous doctor at an IVF medical institution in Shanghai said "The medical institution is too busy. No matter which hospital you go to, it is always overcrowded."
This has created a market and opportunities for unregulated medical service providers. Although the relevant departments have recently launched a crackdown on this market, they are still advertising on the network and social media platforms while avoiding being discovered by overburdened regulatory authorities.
According to a statement by The Ministry of Health in July that some areas have no strict regulations, comprehensive supervision, and severe crackdown, which has caused chaos in the assisted reproductive technology service market in recent years. In 2013, there were nearly 500,000 IVF treatment "cycles" in 356 approved medical institutions, while in the US market the number was less than 200,000.
Despite growth is increasing, many people still have difficulty in getting an IVF treatment opportunity: those poorer provinces have few relevant medical institutions, and many people cannot afford the 30,000 yuan price tag.