Medical Equipment Market in Hong Kong Unit: USD thousands
Total Market Size
Total Local Production
Imports from the U.S.
Exchange Rate: 1 USD
Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)
Total Local Production: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
Total Exports: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
Total Imports: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
Imports from U.S.: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
Hong Kong relies heavily on imports to satisfy its medical equipment needs since the city’s medical equipment production is low. Total medical equipment imports in 2015 amounted to US$1.69 billion, representing a slight increase of one percent over 2014. The United States was the market leader in the high-end market segment, capturing about 20 percent of the total import market in 2015, an increase of one percent of total market share from 2014.
Hong Kong is also a sourcing point for medical products for mainland China. In 2015, transshipment of medical equipment to China through Hong Kong amounted to US$671 million; accounting for approximately 40 percent of Hong Kong’s medical equipment re-exports to all destinations.
Hong Kong’s population of 7.3 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 41 public hospitals and institutions, 47 specialist out-patient clinics, and 73 general out-patient clinics. The rest of the medical service needs are met by Hong Kong’s 11 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.
To cope with an aging population, the Hong Kong Government has been increasing its funding on public healthcare. Total government expenditure on medical infrastructure, equipment and related services budgeted for 2016 is US$10 billion, representing an increase of more than 27 percent over 2015. This year, the 300-bed Tin Shui Wai hospital will come online. The 468-bed Hong Kong Children’s Hospital will be completed sometime in 2017. Gleneagles Hong Kong Hospital, a new private hospital, is slated to open in early 2017.
Looking further ahead, the Hong Kong Government has set aside US$ 25 billion for a 10-year hospital development plan to enable HA to expand and upgrade healthcare facilities, including 5,000 additional hospital beds, 320 operating theatres, redevelopment and expansion of 11 hospitals and a new acute general hospital. This new hospital will provide 2,400 beds and will be the first neuroscience center in Hong Kong. Also on the Hong Kong Government agenda is a loan to the Chinese University of Hong Kong to develop a non-profit private hospital.
An aging population means a prevalence of chronic diseases. In response, the HA will strengthen ambulatory services, including a plan to construct ambulatory care centers and day hospitals providing day surgery, rehabilitation, endoscopy, diagnostic radiology and laboratory services.
The Hong Kong Government has also regularized its pilot Government Vaccination Program (providing free seasonal influenza vaccinations and pneumococcal vaccinations to the elderly) in 2016. The launch of the colorectal cancer screening pilot program will start in mid-2016, under which subsidized colorectal cancer screenings will be provided to Hong Kong residents aged between 61 and 70 in the course of three years. The HA also has plans to strengthen the capacity for various treatment of critical illness and chronic diseases, such as echocardiograms; hemodialysis and radiotherapy.
The Electronic Health Record Sharing System between the public and private healthcare sector has begun in early 2016. The next stage of the program, which involves the development of a patient portal, an enhancement of patient control, and an additional sharing of data including radiological images, will commence soon.
The Hong Kong Government is also interested in implementing the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme to encourage citizens to purchase health insurance; and providing more choices for users of private healthcare services. A study was conducted in 2015 to collect and analyze public’s views on the scheme. Before taking the project forward, the HA will embark on revamping the regulatory regime for private healthcare facilities to enhance the quality and price transparency of private healthcare services.
The healthcare system of the Macau Special Administrative Region includes specialized and primary healthcare provided by two public hospitals: Hospital Conde de S. Januário and Macau University Hospital (an institution established under the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) Foundation), one private, non-profit hospital, Kiang Wu, 10 public clinics and 687 privately operated healthcare establishments. Every Macau resident enjoys free primary healthcare services. 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.
Sub-Sector Best Prospects
In Vitro Diagnostic Equipment and Reagents
Implantable and Intervention Materials
Surgery and Emergency Appliances
Geriatric Specialized Products
Home Medical Equipment
Orthopedic Implants and Instruments
Dental Implants and Instruments
Hong Kong’s public and private healthcare development projects represent outstanding business opportunities for U.S. suppliers of hospital systems, medical devices, laboratory equipment, instruments and hospital supplies. HA’s tender notices and invitations for expression of interest are available from this web page: http://www.ha.org.hk/visitor/ha_visitor_index.asp?Content_ID=2001&Lang=ENG&Dimension=100.
With an overburdened public healthcare system, the Hong Kong Government proposed introducing the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme. If the scheme moves forward, the general public will be encouraged to make use of private medical facilities and more land will be allocated for private hospital development. Interested hospital developers, designers and equipment suppliers should start to make contacts with the authorities and industry players soon.
In neighboring Macau, the Macanese Government’s total expenditure on medical and health services in 2014 was about US$610 million (the latest available figure), an increase of more than 15 percent over 2013. The Macau Government injections to further improve its healthcare system in the next years are anticipated to increase.
Hong Kong’s population aged 65 or above is expected to surge from the current 1.1 million to 2.6 million by 2041. Macau has a population of 646,800, of which 8 percent (roughly 53,000) are 65 and above. By 2031, this ratio will likely rise to 22 percent. The rapidly aging population from both cities will need elder care facilities, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, as well as products for the elderly.
The people of Hong Kong and Macau are becoming more health conscious and focused on preventive care, which increasingly includes routine vaccinations, screening for various cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, prenatal care and regular wellness visits.
Owing to various government campaigns, the Hong Kong public is becoming more aware of oral health. Cosmetic dentistry has also become very popular in the last several years.
Best Practice for U.S. Exporters
The best practice for U.S. exporters of pharmaceutical products, medical equipment and devices to expand into the Hong Kong market is through Hong Kong agents and distributors. These agents and distributors can be helpful in marketing U.S. healthcare products in Hong Kong and sometimes in mainland China. Hong Kong-based agents and distributors usually include Macau in their sales territory, and may have networks in cities in mainland China. U.S. exporters of healthcare products not having an office in Hong Kong are required to appoint a Local Responsible Person (LRP). This LRP can be the Hong Kong distributor or an independent third party but has to be based in Hong Kong. The LRPs serve as intermediary and communicate with the end-users, importers, the Hong Kong Government and the U.S. exporters to ensure safe and efficacious use of the products.
Key Government and Regulatory Agencies:
Hong Kong Department of Health
Medical Device Control Office
Address: Room 604, 6/F, CityPlaza Three
14 Taikoo Wan Road
Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3107-8484
Fax: (852) 3157-1286
Hong Kong Hospital Authority
Address: Hospital Authority Building
147B Argyle Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2300-6555
Fax: (852) 2890-7726
Macau Health Bureau
Address: Estrada do Visconde de S. Januario, Macau
Tel: (853) 2831-3731
Fax: (853) 2871-3105
China International Medical Equipment Fair
Date: Oct 29 – Nov 1, 2016 in Shenzhen, China
Description: The Fair is held twice a year, spring and autumn, in two different cities in China. The exhibition covers a wide array of products, including, medical imaging, diagnosis instruments, electronic devices, medical information technology, first aid and rehabilitation equipment and supplies.
Hong Kong International Medical Devices and Supplies Fair
Date: May 2017 (exact date to be confirmed)
Description: The Fair is organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council & co-organized by the Hong Kong Medical and Healthcare Device Industries Association (HKMHDIA). The fair showcases a wide variety of medical devices, technologies and supplies.
Hong Kong Doctors Union
Description: Hong Kong Doctors Union is the only trade union for all doctors in Hong Kong. Its primary objective is to safeguard the welfare and rights of doctors.
The Hong Kong Medical Association
Description: The Hong Kong Medical Association represents the interests of medical practitioners in Hong Kong. With a membership of approximately 8,500, which comprises the majority of registered medical practitioners in Hong Kong, the Association nominates members to serve various medical and related statutory and non-statutory institutions.
The Private Hospitals Association
Description: The Hong Kong Private Hospitals Association represents the interests of the 11 private hospitals in Hong Kong.
For more information about this industry sector, please contact U.S. Commercial Service:
Ms. Olevia Yim, Sr. Commercial Specialist
Tel: (852) 2521-6166
Fax: (852) 2845-9800
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