Medical Equipment Industry Overview

An Expert's View about Electro Medical Equipment in Chile

Last updated: 31 Aug 2011

The Chilean medical equipment market reached USD150.6 million, in 2010. Local production in Chile is limited to hospital furniture; therefore the market is largely supplied by overseas imports. The U.S. is the dominant supplier, with a market share of approximately 38%, followed by Germany with 17%, Japan with 9%, and China with 7%. The growth for this industry for 2011 is expected to be 15%.
The healthcare in Chile is provided by 280 hospitals including public and private sector. Of these, 180 hospitals are public and represent approximately 26,500 beds. The February 2010 earthquake and tsunami badly affected the public sector, leaving approximately 12 hospitals and 4,200 beds severely damaged. Efforts since have focused on use of military hospitals and modular hospitals until permanent ones are built. The reconstruction is expected to take at least four years at a cost of some $3.6 billion dollars.

The government-run healthcare insurance system called FONASA, ( covers 75% of the population; and of the remaining 25%, there is approximately 5% without any type of insurance and 20% (some 2.6 million people) that pay into the private sector insurance system provided by entities called ISAPRES ( There are 9 Isapres currently operating in the Chilean market.
In general, there is no registration imposed on medical equipment except nuclear medicine that need special authorizations. Medical devices have no registration requirement either, except for condoms, gloves, needles, and syringes that do need authorization. The local health authority that oversees regulations for medical equipment and devices, in addition to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, is the Institute of Public Health (

U.S. exporters benefit from the U.S.- Chile Free Trade Agreement (2004); by which U.S. medical equipment enter Chile duty-free, provided a U.S. Certificate of Origin is presented to the customs authorities. A 19% Value Added Tax (VAT) over the CIF value of the merchandise does apply. Also, Chile has Free Trade Agreements with Australia, Canada, Central America, China, Korea, EU, EFTA, Mexico, Panama, and Turkey; and is negotiating one with Vietnam.

Market Demand
Chile currently spends approximately 7% of its GDP on health care. Of that total, an estimated USD 1 billion finds its way -either directly or through a health insurance company- into the hands of a private healthcare provider, be it a clinic or an outpatient center. In the coming years, that amount is expected to increase at a rate well ahead of GDP growth.

In July 2005, the Chilean government implemented a healthcare reform package aimed at reducing the inequities of the Chilean healthcare system. The resulting “Universal Access with Explicit Guarantees”

The (AUGE) program, also known as GES, currently ensures government-funded healthcare treatment for 80 of the most prevalent diseases regardless of age or ability to pay. The AUGE plan covers chronic diseases such as diabetes; surgeries from new born cleft lip to cataracts; mental conditions such as schizophrenia, various types of cancers, etc.

According to the Minister of Health, birthrates in Chile are lower than in the United States; approximately 1.9 children per woman. Therefore, the Chilean population is ageing fast, which means that the resources needed for healthcare are much higher. In Chile, a person sixty five years of age spends four to five times in healthcare than someone in his/her thirties.
Market Data

The following HS Codes were used to determine the market data:
90111000 Stereoscopic Microscopes
90181110 Electrocardiographs, and parts and accessories thereof
90181200 Ultrasonic scanning apparatus
90181300 Magnetic resonance imaging apparatus
90181400 Scintigraphic apparatus
90181910 Other Apparatus for functional exploratory examination, and parts and accessories thereof
90182000 Ultraviolet or infrared ray apparatus, and parts and accessories thereof
90185000 Other ophthalmic instruments and appliances and parts and accessories thereof
90189010 Other instruments and appliances and parts and accessories thereof: Defibrillators
90189020 Optical instruments and appliances and parts and accessories thereof
90189030 Anesthetic instruments and appliances and parts and accessories thereof
90189040 Percussion hammers stethoscopes and parts of stethoscopes
90189050 Sphygmomanometers, tensimeters and oscillometers; all the foregoing and parts and accessories thereof
90189080 Miscellaneous scintigraphic and other electro-medical equipment
90192010 Ozone therapy, oxygen therapy, aerosol therapy, artificial respiration or other therapeutic respiration apparatus; parts and accessories thereof
90192090 Miscellaneous artificial respiration equipment
90221200 Computed tomography apparatus.
90221410 Other, for medical, surgical or veterinary uses
90222100 For medical, surgical, dental or veterinary uses
90223000 X-ray tubes
90229010 Radiation generator units

Read the full market research report

Posted: 31 August 2011, last updated 31 August 2011

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