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More elderly need joint replacements

China Daily | Updated: 2011-12-14 13:26

There were about 200,000 artificial joint replacements in the Chinese mainland in 2011, and imported joints took up the lion's share on the market, the Chinese Orthopedic Association's head Wang Yan says.

As the country rapidly ages, the demand for orthopedic surgeries, including joint replacements, will continue to increase, he says. About 20 million patients of various bone diseases need operations a year.

Nearly 70 percent of the medical instruments required come from foreign countries, official statistics show. Apart from high costs, some of the instruments were originally designed for Westerners and might not suitable for Chinese patients.

To address the problem, Wang believes, the Chinese government will heavily invest in research in the coming five years to develop homegrown devices, such as artificial joints and heart stents, which would lower medical costs.

China Daily - Reuters

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