Hong Kong’s population of 7 million enjoys a comprehensive range of medical and health services delivered by the public and private sectors. On the public side, the Hospital Authority (HA) manages 38 hospitals and 60 Specialist Outpatient Centers. The rest of the medical service needs are met by Hong Kong’s 12 private hospitals and hundreds of private out-patient clinics. The HA is the largest end-user of goods and services in Hong Kong’s healthcare sector. Hong Kong’s medical equipment production is insignificant. The city relies heavily on imports to satisfy its advanced medical equipment needs. Total medical equipment imports in 2008 amounted to US$1.48 billion. The United States was the market leader in the high-end market segment, capturing about 25 percent of the total import market.
Macau has a population of 540,000, of which 7.7 percent is over 65 and above. Macau’s health care system includes specialized and primary healthcare provided by the one public hospital, Conde de S. Januário, one private non-profit-making hospital, Kiang Wu, eight health centers and numerous private clinics. One of the best ways for American SME suppliers to sell medical products in the Macau market is through Hong Kong-based agents or distributors, given the relatively smaller size of Macau and the proximity of the two markets. Many of Hong Kong’s medical agents/distributors have established networks and excellent relationships with the medical industry in Macau.
Medical equipment and devices for diagnosing and treating malignant neoplasms, heart disease, cerebrovascular diseases, chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and septicaemia offer promising prospects for U.S. companies. Other important areas include equipment for diabetes mellitus, respiratory disease, orthopedic instruments, blood and virus analyzers, as well any equipment with leading-edge technology.
Hong Kong’s aging population has seen a shift in disease patterns toward malignant neoplasms, heart diseases, pneumonia and cerebrovascular diseases. This has led to increased demand for high technology services catering to the acute phase of strokes and heart attacks. There is also a growing need for rehabilitation services and equipment.
The Hong Kong government plans to re-develop and expand its existing public hospitals, and build several new ones. These include: a Children’s Specialist Hospital, North Lantau Hospital, Tin Shui Wai Hospital, Caritas Medical Center Phase II, Prince of Wales Hospital, Tsueng Kwan O Hospital, and Yan Chai Hospital. In terms of private health care development projects, the Hong Kong government has reserved the following four sites for the construction of new private hospitals, and was collecting statements of interest as of January 2010: Tai Po, Tseung Kwan- O, Tung Chung and Wong Chuk Hang. Upon completion in eight to ten years, these four private hospitals will together provide high-quality medical services via their 1,500 to 2,000 beds, and will serve primarily the middle class. These proposed public and private hospital projects will present opportunities for U.S. suppliers of hospital services, technologies and advanced medical equipment.