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Chindex to Expand China Hospital Network as Local Demand Rises

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May 21 (Bloomberg) -- Chindex International Inc., a U.S.- health-care service provider operating in China, will expand its network of hospitals to capitalize on a surge in demand for high-end medical care, an executive said.

The company is looking to grow “wherever there are significant urban centers” in China, Alan Kahn, vice president for marketing at the Bethesda, Maryland-based company, told reporters today. Chindex held a ceremony with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to showcase its new health center in Beijing, China’s first oncology clinic.

Chindex, the only foreign hospital administrator in China, also sells U.S.-made medical devices and the oncology center includes $5 million of American goods, Kahn said.

“This really is a symbol of what America and China can do when we work together,” Chief Executive Officer Roberta Lipson said at the ceremony today.

Chindex has two hospitals, one each in Shanghai and Beijing. It is tripling the size of its Beijing facility and building new hospitals, including one in northern Tianjin, she said.

When the company set up its first Beijing hospital more than a decade ago, only one in 10 patients was a Chinese national, Kahn said. As the economy has grown, that ratio is now split almost evenly, creating opportunities in other cities, he said.

Chindex fell 61 cents, or 5.3 percent, to $11.01 yesterday in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The shares declined 22 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at mdrajem@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net.

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