Foreign medical device makers have huge opportunities in China as the country embarks next year in a gigantic reform of its health-care systems, says Shaun Rein in Business Week, based on research of his China Market Research Group (CMR). One fifth of China’s ambitious stimulus packages to flight the downturn is targeting on providing 90 percent of the Chinese citizens universal medical car.
New facilities need equipment and new patients mean more demand for implants, monitoring devices, and diagnostic machines. For foreign medical device companies, China’s reforms could prove to be a boon by offsetting lagging demand in developed markets. While the U.S.medical device market has been hit by the financial crisis, China’s is estimated to almost double in size between 2006 and 2014 to $28 billion a year, making it a potential growth driver for foreign firms.
In health care, Chinese want nothing but the best, if they can afford it, and that means often foreign medical devices. As wealth increases, wealth related diseases too and now many urbanites pay treatment often from their own pocket. Interviews of hundreds of Chinese doctors and consumers support the idea that Chinese patients prefer foreign made medical devices.
Foreign companies will have to work on this market, especially because domestic firms often enjoy a preferential treatment. Rein uses the examples of General Electric (GE) and Medtronic who successfully teamed up with domestic players to capture a part of the market.