In what could pose a serious threat to global firms dominating the medical devices sector, China has decided to promote Chinese-made medical devices and encouraged domestic hospitals to use them as far as possible. China hopes to boost its local market and reduce mounting healthcare expenditures.
The high cost of medical care has been a cause for concern not just to the country as a whole but also to patients, and in order to lessen the burden, the health ministry has planned to develop its domestic industry and endorse homegrown products. The head of China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission has said that the advocacy is aimed towards all health ministry organizations, but especially for top level class III hospitals in the country. The announcement was made at a medical devices conference held in Beijing.
Currently the medical device market in China is largely dominated by global medical device makers from the U.S., Japan and Europe. The three regions make up nearly three-quarters of the China market which was estimated to be worth $34.51 billion last year. The booming medical devices market in the country attracted big names such as Siemens AG, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric Co., Medtronic Inc., and Koninklijke Philips NV. Now, local companies such as China Resources Wandong Medical Equipment Co Ltd. and Mindray Medical International Ltd. will have to step up efforts to make up for the lack of global inputs to the industry.
Hospitals are the largest distribution channels of medical devices, making up nearly 80% of the overall market. In 2013, there were an approximate of 13,400 public hospitals and 11,300 private hospitals in China.