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Bupa Global Releases Post-COVID-19 Research Report on Senior Executives in China: 70.5% of Chinese Executives Experienced Physical or Mental Health Problems During the COVID-19 Outbreak

15 July 2020 Source: Bupa
• 71.5% of Chinese executives felt more positive about China's healthcare system following the outbreak.
• 56.9% expressed optimism about China's economic recovery.
• 78.8% are considering purchasing commercial medical insurance within the next 12 months
July 15, 2020, BEIJING – BUPA Global, the worldwide leader in health insurance, has released its Research Report: The changing outlook of Senior Executives in Post-Covid-19 China, outlining the predictions and opinions of senior Chinese executives regarding life, work and the macroeconomy in the post-COVID-19 era. According to the report, 70.5% of surveyed Chinese executives experienced physical or mental health problems during the COVID-19 epidemic, but only 8.7% sought professional help for these issues. With China now emerging from the outbreak, 71.5% of those questioned stated they have an overall more positive opinion on China's healthcare system. While 56.9% are similarly optimistic about China's economic outlook, the uncertainty of COVID-19 still remains their biggest concern. As COVID-19 retreats, with continued social-distancing measures in place in China, ensuring a good physical-mental state on the part of senior executives has become a key factor in maintaining stable business operations in the post-epidemic era. Recognizing this importance, Bupa Global conducted a study to better understand how Covid-19 has changed their attitudes on their wellbeing, different healthcare systems, expectations of health insurance, and also their sentiment towards the global and Chinese macroeconomy. This research collected feedback from 1,031 senior executives in China’s first- and second-tier cities, including business owners, presidents, senior management members, and other senior officers at director level or higher, with some samples taken from LinkedIn, the world's largest professional networking platform.

Mental health of executives becomes a concern as management of COVID-19 enters the new normal

The report found that 70.5% Chinese executives experienced physical or mental health problems during the COVID-19 outbreak, with the main symptoms including weariness, constant depression, anxiety, and even mental exhaustion. However, only 8.7% of those surveyed stated they sought assistance from medical professionals such as a doctor, counselor or psychiatrist. While the health worries of executives and their families have decreased following the easing of COVID-19, with social-distancing measures now becoming the new normal, the pandemic has brought about long-term changes in their living habits. The top five changes reported by executives include: 1) Increased awareness of personal hygiene and improved personal hygiene habits, 2) healthier diet and more regular exercise, 3) increased vigilance in crowded places, 4) improved mental health awareness, and 5) spending more time with family and friends. Among the survey's respondents, nearly 50% stated they now place a greater emphasis on their personal mental wellbeing, reflecting an increased awareness of the need for good mental health throughout the elite business community.

Optimism about China's economic recovery but relative pessimism about the global economy

Another key finding of the research was that 56.9% of senior Chinese executives who responded expressed optimism about China's economic outlook, expecting a quick recovery of China's economy to an equal or even stronger pace of growth compared to pre-COVID-19 times. However, more than 60% also expressed worry about the uncertainty of COVID-19 containment and potential economic recession. Approximately 40% stated they feel relatively pessimistic about the global economic recovery, pointing to the risk of economic recession as the global economic fallout of COVID-19 continues.

Greater appreciation for China's healthcare system and increasing awareness of remote medical care and mental health

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, 71.5% of respondents stated they felt more positive, overall, about the country's healthcare system, with 53.5% feeling similarly more positive about the public healthcare system. These findings suggest that senior executives have a high level of trust in China's public healthcare system, while Bupa Global predicts their demand for insurance products offering value-added VIP experiences will continue to increase, recommending insurers offer more benefits in Special Outpatient Clinics in Public Hospitals, International Medicine Departments and VIP Clinics. In addition, as the government encourages people to purchase medical insurance, the demand for private medical insurance products from the general public is also expected to trend upward. 78.8% of respondents stated they will purchase medical insurance again within the next 12 months, while 58% of senior executives are considering increasing their spending on such policies. The demands of senior executives for self-funded and employer medical insurance fully reflect the characteristics of the post-COVID-19 era. Cover for critical illness and hospitalisation, as well as medical coverage for pandemics, are ranked first in both self-funded and employer medical insurance needs. In addition, within the top five needs, executives also highlighted their greater interest in about preventive care as well as expectations of higher maximum claim limits. Among the demands for employer medical insurance, providing online/virtual doctor consultation services ranks among the top five, while interest in mental health support, such as diagnosis and treatment provided by psychologists and psychiatrists, has increased significantly since the start of COVID-19Bupa Global predicts that protection in this area will become a basic requirement for company medical insurance going forward. "With over 70 years of global expertise specialising in the field of health and care, Bupa Global has provided and managed a series of international health plans for our customers. We undertook this research to identify the main health needs of senior Chinese executives, both during the COVID-19 outbreak, and now. The findings will help our partners better understand the changing attitudes of Chinese executives towards their personal wellbeing, thedifferent healthcare systems, health insurance expectations, and also the latest market sentiment towards the global and Chinese macroeconomy. In doing so, we will be able to provide China's executives with more relevant healthcare solutions, enabling them to embrace the full recovery that will follow." said Sheldon Kenton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bupa Global. For more information about the Research Report: The changing outlook of Senior Executives in Post-Covid-19 China, please click the
following link: http://www.bupa.com.cn/Public/download/Bupa_Global_Chinese_Senior_Execs_Research_on_Covid-19_CN_1.pdf

About the Research Report: The changing outlook of Senior Executives in Post-Covid-19 China

The Bupa Global Survey Report: The changing outlook of Senior Executives in Post-Covid-19 China, presents the predictions and attitudes of senior Chinese executives regarding post-COVID-19 life, work, and the macroeconomy. The survey was conducted based on the respondent database of Insight Focus (a survey company) and online questionnaires completed by LinkedIn users. In total there were 1,031 respondents, all of whom reside in China's first- and second-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Chongqing, and Wuhan, and who hold senior officer positions at department head or director level or higher, including business owners, presidents, and senior management members.

Bupa-International Medical Insurance Experts

Bupa began in the United Kingdom in 1947. As the largest medical insurance group* in the UK, Bupa provides medical insurance around the world, and operates clinics, hospitals, dental centers, and nursing homes, among others. We have no shareholders, so we invest any surplus back into the business in order to provide better medical services to our customers. Bupa Global is the international health insurance arm of Bupa, serving more than 2 million customers in different countries and regions. Bupa Global is designed for globally minded customers who seek the highest level of coverage. We hope that we can provide the best quality medical insurance they need at anytime, anywhere, whether the customer is at home, or studying abroad, traveling, or working overseas.

Entering China, Leading the Development of International Healthcare

Bupa has had a Representative Office in Beijing since 2006, serving primarily to understand the market, build relationships, and explore opportunities for building our domestic presence in China. In 2011, we also set up Bupa Consulting (Beijing), providing services including administrative and customer support for global health pans underwritten by Alltrust Insurance. Alltrust Insurance Company is the insurer of the Global Health Plan. This combined strength, scale, and expertise means customers can be confident in knowing that they have access to quality healthcare when and where they need it. In 2017, Bupa launched the first integrated medical centre in Guangzhou, expanding Bupa's footprint to China's domestic healthcare provision sector. Over the past three consecutive years, from 2018, Bupa Global has won prestigious titles at the "Financial Institution Awards" by Bloomberg Business Weekly/Chinese Edition. The company received industry awards to recognise outstanding performance in three areas including "Medical Care", "Health & Protection" and "Claims Management", marking Bupa's confidence and determination to develop the China market.
* Source: Laing Buisson Health Cover UK Market Report 13th Edition, published 16 January 2017, in terms of market share among private medical insurance providers

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