Property developer HKR International's health-care unit, AmMed International, hopes to raise US$25 million to pay for the expansion of its cancer centre in Greater China. If the move succeeds, it will bring a handsome return on the US$5 million initially invested in the venture two years ago. AmMed, a 58.3 per cent subsidiary of HKR, was set up in February 2000 to provide out-patient cancer treatment in Hong Kong and China through a network of centres. Chief executive Kevin Loh said the company would bring a multi-disciplinary approach to battling cancer as all necessary medical services would be provided under the same roof. 'Running a specialty centre will be a profitable business model as we know how to manage the cost,' Dr Loh said. 'The demand is there - like it or not half of the adult population [in Hong Kong] is going to develop cancer.' He said 43 per cent to 45 per cent of Hong Kong men would develop cancer and about 35 per cent of women. There were 22,707 new cancer cases in Hong Kong in 2000, of which 13,404 were found in men, according to World Health Organisation research. The researchers estimated there were 1.89 million new cases in China, 1.14 million (or 60 per cent) of which involved men. To introduce a Western approach to cancer treatment in China, AmMed would operate through local partnerships, Dr Loh said. He said there were a few foreign hospital joint ventures in China, where authorities required a minimum investment of 20 million yuan (about HK$18.7 million) with a maximum ownership of 70 per cent. Traditional Chinese medicine is still the most common treatment for cancer on the mainland. As Beijing no longer subsidises medical expenses, Western treatments are outside the reach of most people. The average cost of cancer treatment ranges from 100,000 to 200,000 yuan. Some firms in Shanghai have introduced health insurance funded by a 3 per cent payroll deduction. In Hong Kong, Dr Loh said the company would launch a cancer insurance programme in the first half with annual fees of about HK$2,000. Dr Loh, who founded AmMed, said the company hoped to achieve profitability in 2003.