Health care workers walk the halls of a hospital in China.
Whether it's private hospitals, prescription drugs or medical devices, China's health care market is heating up and receiving key support from the government.
China's current five-year plan -- a roadmap of Beijing's priorities -- singles out this sector for increased foreign investment and help from the government. Biotechnology R&D alone is supposed to receive $2 billion in government funding over a five-year period.
Keying off the five-year plan is a way for foreign companies to see how they can work "with China in the same direction," said David Schlesinger, founder and managing director of Tripod Advisors.
Foreign medical device companies, however, will have to battle the perception that their products are more expensive than local brands, especially as the government aims to provide affordable care.
Aside from keeping the general population healthy, China also needs to cope with a growing number of senior citizens. More than 185 million Chinese are over the age of 60, which accounts for around 12% of the country's population, a figure that will rise to 34% by 2050.
McKinsey estimated last year that China's health care spending will balloon to $1 trillion in 2020 from $357 billion in 2011.