These quarterly updated reports analyse the issues
The Outlook for Medical Device Markets in Central Asia is published by Espicom Business Intelligence. Each report provides an individual and highly-detailed analysis of each market, looking at the key regulatory, political, economic and corporate developments in the wider context of market structure, service and access. The reports are available individually or as a discounted collection, and prices include 4 completely updated reports sent quarterly plus a comprehensive annual review.
Highlights from the region
China, in terms of both its healthcare system and medical device market, is a nation of contradiction. As the world’s most populous country, and one in possession of the fastest growing major economy in the world, the nation offers a vast array of opportunities for overseas investors, complemented by a massive potential workforce and consumer base. The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) crisis of 2003 forced the government to examine the Chinese health infrastructure in great detail and healthcare has become a priority of the present government.
Other priorities addressed by the government include the standard of rural healthcare which for many years has differed markedly in its quality to that in urban areas. In particular, the more basic practices of ‘barefoot doctors’ are being phased out, and medical personnel in these impoverished regions are now required to pass a more advanced series of qualifications in order to be recognised by the government. Increased investment from overseas in the form of a range of projects continues, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in China has assumed greater significance, with the establishment of various programmes aimed at attempting to combat the disease.
India has a huge population in excess of one billion people and a growing middle class with access to high quality healthcare. Conversely, in this geographically vast country plagued by natural disasters, the majority of the population is both rural and poor. The Indian market for medical equipment and supplies ranks among the world’s top 20 but, despite strong growth rates, the market remains disproportionately small with per capita spending of less than US$2.
High quality, high tech products are sought after, particularly in the private sector. Future increased demand for medical equipment and supplies will come mainly from private sector hospitals and medical centres. Detailed regulation of medical devices is still under consideration. In October 2005, a number of in vivo medical devices were added to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, bringing them into regulatory control. New guidelines for sterile medical devices came into force on 1st March 2006.
Pakistan is one of the world’s most populous countries, poverty is rife and standards of living are defined by substandard sanitation, nutrition and widespread incidence of communicable diseases. The healthcare sector is poorly funded by the government and the private sector is only affordable to a small minority of the population. Total spending on healthcare is equal to around 2.5% of GDP, which is considered low by world standards.
Hospital and health centre facilities are rudimentary and poorly equipped in the majority of cases. The primary sector is underused and per capita medical personnel levels are low. Surgical instruments make up the bulk of a limited domestic manufacturing sector. This takes place in facilities in the Punjab region of Sialkot and medical device equipment is of a high standard, although the majority is destined for export overseas.
Bangladesh is one of the ten most populous countries in the world. It is also one of the poorest. Access to even the most basic of healthcare provision remains sub-standard, despite the ongoing efforts of the government, aided by considerable international assistance. Adequate secondary or tertiary care is beyond the reach of all but a very few. Government hospitals are often little more than clinics, and suffer from severe shortages of trained staff. There is a growing private hospital sector, largely based in Dhaka, which caters for the well-off. It is in the private sector where the most advanced services are located, and where almost all the demand for advanced equipment will be found.