Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/08/2014 -- The economy aside, what factors are affecting medical device growth?
Fundamentally, the eight countries covered in this collection share a similar characteristic. These medical device markets have, on average, been growing at more attractive rates compared to the more developed, mature medical device markets in Western Europe, for example.
Broadly speaking, the high growth rates for this region have been spearheaded by a number of similar and distinct factors. All countries in this report collection have experienced strong medical devices import growth and steadily rising health expenditure. Medical devices imports, as we have seen in the last economic crisis in 1997, could possibly be affected in the short term, but like before, these countries are expected to bounce back.
The demand for medical devices prior to the current downturn was largely driven by the expansion of the respective healthcare sectors in the region, and government budget cuts for capital infrastructure may temper growth in the short term. But healthcare development and provision is an increasing political and social priority for nearly all these countries, even the poorer ones like Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines and the prospects for medical devices remains strong.
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Other factors driving or impeding the market's growth rate are also taken into account. For example, government cost containment strategies and tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade for medical devices. New dynamics are also affecting the market, such as Vietnam's expansion of health insurance to all citizens by 2014 or the opening up of the notoriously difficult but lucrative South Korean market via Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with the USA and the EU.
Highlights from the Region
The Social Insurance Providers Board (BJPS) Law, which becomes effective on 1st January 2014, aims to provide universal healthcare coverage for all Indonesians. The programme, to be managed by State-owned PT Askes, will entitle the entire population to free treatments and medicines for major illnesses at public healthcare facilities, the cost for which will be borne by the government. Public funding for healthcare is low, estimated at around US$10.7 billion in 2011, and the country continues to rely on international aid. Despite the present administration placing more emphasis on healthcare, funding, insufficient numbers of health professionals and bureaucratic problems are hampering development. There is a marked disparity in the standard of healthcare between rural and urban areas. The capital city Jakarta enjoys relatively good levels of primary care as well as a range of modern private specialist facilities, while healthcare coverage in remote regions tends to be insufficient.
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