The government has approved Guangdong's first privatisation of a state-run hospital, official media reported. Guangzhou Shihua Hospital has been taken over by the privately run Beijing Yiren Corp for 15 million yuan, according to Xinhua. The takeover was jointly approved by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission under the State Council and the Guangdong Health Bureau. The new owner, which has already taken over and built 11 medical institutions since it started operating in 1999, was said to have made the deal in the first half of the year but had been waiting for approval from the central government. According to Li Zhi , vice-director of the hospital, the new hospital will be renamed Guangzhou Yiren Hospital. He said Beijing Yiren would invest 450 million yuan to expand the hospital, adding about 350 beds. A further 70 million yuan would be spent on upgrading facilities. Vice-director of the Guangzhou Health Bureau Liao Xinbo said privatising hospitals would boost competition between the public and private sectors, giving people more choice. The first state-owned hospital to go private was in Henan last year.