Three leading South Australian aged care providers have formed a new company to tap into China’s rapidly growing aged care industry by exporting sought after knowledge-based services.
Eldercare, Southern Cross Care and Life Care have announced the new joint venture entity named Australian Ageing and Wellness Services (AA&WS) which recently secured its first contract to deliver coaching and development services over the next 12 months to a new aged care provider in Yantai, Shandong.
The contract is with the Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, which has just opened an aged care facility in Penglai, and involves four South Australian registered nurses working alongside hospital staff in China on three-month clinical rotations until September 2018.
AA&WS will also work closely with the Department of Civil Affairs as well as private and publicly funded aged care services in Shandong.
AA&WS Chair Brendan Bowler, who is also the Chair of Southern Cross Care (SA & NT) Inc, said an estimated 330 million Chinese people would be aged over 60 by 2030, providing a significant business opportunity for South Australian aged care providers to offer training and support to Chinese organisations as they adapt to this significant increase in service demand.
“China’s ageing population growth, coupled with the impact of the one child policy and the significant mobility of the Chinese population in search of work, has made it virtually impossible for middle class families to continue the tradition of caring for all their ageing relatives,” Mr Bowler said.
“This presents an exciting opportunity for Eldercare, Southern Cross Care and Life Care to share our capabilities internationally, generate new business opportunities and offer employees the chance to work and learn together to implement high quality services in a new and challenging environment.
“Australia’s sophisticated aged care system is of great interest to China and there is a willingness for the Chinese to rapidly learn how to support their aged population through the lessons of Australia.”
In early 2016, Eldercare, Southern Cross Care and Life Care were invited to join a new Australia China Aged Care Consortium.
The consortium was established by the City of Charles Sturt to develop business opportunities with the council’s ‘friendly city’ partner Yantai, a port city situated on the Bohai Sea with a population of more than four million people.
The first trade visit to Yantai by consortium representatives, which took place in mid-2016, opened up direct commercial opportunities and led to Memorandums of Understanding being initiated with Chinese providers to explore potential opportunities and establish co-operative business activities.
Business opportunities in the Chinese aged care market are reported to be worth approximately A$787 billion and expected to grow to A$2.5 trillion by 2030.
Trading in China as AAWS Elder Care, the company will provide a broad range of consultation, training and development and operational services across all aspects of aged care.
“We know that our collective knowledge and experience is highly valued in the emerging aged care sector in China and that this work will have a positive impact on our Chinese business partners,” Mr Bowler said.