(Yicai Global) Jan. 4 -- Pressure from investors has pushed Zhou Hua, the director of a private cosmetic medicine and surgery clinic, to resign and go back to being a doctor.
Zhou's annual income as director was more than CNY1 million (USD150,000). He was a surgeon at a public hospital with a salary of CNY2,000 to CNY3,000 per month 15 years ago. Higher pay did not stop him from thinking about his old job.
"My family has practiced medical professions for three generations," Zhou told Yicai Global. "When I first became a doctor, my father told me to adhere to the heart of a parent to treat patients. For many years, I just wanted to be a good doctor, to be honest and do every operation perfectly. However, nowadays, irregularities in the industry have caused institutions like ours that operate honestly and in compliance to constantly lose patients. The economic pressure felt by investors has been passed on to me and it is very difficult to run the clinic."
The rapid development of aesthetic medicine has bred chaos in recent years. Counterfeit medical products made their way onto the market, anesthesiologists frequently practice at sketchy cosmetic medicine institutions for extra income, merchant take high commissions and pyramid sales schemes are prevalent.
The state of the market makes surviving hard for legitimate institutions, whose businesses have been hit by declining customer numbers and falling profits.
Aesthetic medicine refers to the use of surgery, medicine, medical equipment and other techniques to repair or improve human appearance.
China has the third largest cosmetic medicine market and it is set to become the world leader in the next three years. Its market is expected to be worth CNY464 billion by 2020, with an average annual compound growth rate of 40 percent, per a report Deloitte released in July 2017.