Healthcare Resource Guide: Australia


Australia Statistics


Market Entry

Current Market Trend

Main Competitors

Current Demand

Registration Process


Procurement & Tenders

Trade Events

Local Associations

Best Prospects

Statistics Snapshot

CS Contact


Capital: Canberra

Population: 24 million

GDP: USD 1.205 trillion

Currency: Australian Dollar

Language: English


The Australian medical equipment industry sector has consistently provided good prospects for U.S. exporters. Australia is the 8th largest export market for U.S. manufacturers of medical technology products and the 3rd largest market in the Asia Pacific region after Japan and China. Australia is a competitive and mature market, and there is demand for a full range of innovative medical equipment. The Australian population generally expects a high standard of medical treatment and there is a continuing need for state-of-the-art medical products. U.S. companies compete with other well-established multinational suppliers in the market.

Market Entry

Successful market entry strategies for Australia have three common elements: understanding the market, selecting the optimal partner, and providing ongoing support to that partner. It is important to gain an understanding of the Australian context for a product or service, its competitors, standards, regulations, sales channels, and applications. Success in the market will require appointing an Australian distributor or establishing a local subsidiary and setting up a local sales presence. Typically, distributors for medical products will cover the entire country and some may also have a subsidiary office in New Zealand. Given the size of the Australian continent - same size as continental U.S. - and the distance from other countries, local support and service is important. Most of the criteria American firms use to select distributors are applicable to Australia, with expectations adjusted to the scale of the market given the population of 24 million. Performing due diligence on potential local partners is just as important as in the United States.

Current Market Trends

The Medical Technology Association of Australia reports that the industry had a turnover of approximately US$8.9 billion in 2012-2013 (including IVDs and dental equipment). The Australian market for medical technology represents a little less than 2% of the global market. Australia’s spending on healthcare is approximately 9.6% of GDP, similar to the United Kingdom but less than the United States (17%). U.S. medical technology is traditionally well received in Australia due to its perceived high quality. The market is sophisticated, mature, and quick to adopt new healthcare technologies. Importers seek to obtain cost-effective and innovative products that will improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

Main Competitors

Approximately 80% of medical devices and diagnostics used in the market are imports. The three major suppliers are the United States, the European Union and China.

Current Demand

Health provision and funding comes from the government (public) and non-government (private) sectors. The Federal and State governments fund approximately 70% of total health expenditure and the private sector funds the remaining 30%. The private sector is comprised of individuals, private health insurers, and other non-government funding sources. Approximately 45% of Australians have private health insurance. Under Australia’s government-funded healthcare scheme, the Government is the primary purchaser of medical equipment. Depending upon the type of products, public hospitals generally account for approximately 70% of purchases of medical equipment, with the remaining 30% from the private sector. Prices and volumes are influenced by government healthcare policies and provisions of public healthcare services.

The demand for medical products and healthcare services is expected to grow for all age groups with continuing advances in medical technology, the increasing burden of chronic disease, the ageing population, rising incomes and changing consumer expectations. Australians have one of the longest life expectancies in the world (sixth amongst the OECD countries), and demand will continue to increase as Australia’s ageing population progressively relies on the health system for care.

Opportunities exist for products which provide a significant improvement in clinical outcomes and products with clearly differentiated capabilities. There is also a growing demand for products that lead to faster patient recovery, reduce hospital and rehabilitation costs, and alleviate or manage disability and chronic pain. Australia’s ageing population will significantly influence the demand for products and products that serve the ageing population are likely to experience growth.

Registration Process

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates the medical equipment industry. There are approximately 48,000 medical devices on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, and 2,000 in vitro diagnostics. Australia’s regulatory framework is based on the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF) and European Community guidelines. U.S. exporters must appoint an Australian representative/sponsor to obtain regulatory approval from the TGA. U.S.-manufactured medical devices require CE certification. Alternatively, U.S. manufacturers can apply to the TGA for a Conformity Assessment Certificate. Information is available at


Obtaining reimbursement is important, and industry has commented that reimbursement governs the way healthcare is delivered in Australia. The reimbursement process, however, is complex. The Australian Government subsidizes the cost of certain products and services through a range of different funding arrangements including public subsidy through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), and through private health insurance reimbursement of prostheses through the Prostheses List.

Information on the Government’s Health Technology Assessment processes to inform decisions about the registration of health technologies for use in Australia, and the reimbursement provided under these funding programs is available at:

Procurement & Tenders

Information for federal government and state government tenders for the three largest states in Australia is available at:

Department of Health

NSW Health

Health Purchasing Victoria

Queensland Health

Trade Events

AusBiotech 2018, Brisbane

October 31-November 2, 2018

Local Associations


Medical Technology Association of Australia,

Medicines Australia,

IVD Australia,

Best Prospects

Products that serve Australia’s ageing population are likely to experience growth. BMI Research forecasts that the orthopedic and prosthetic market will be the fastest growing sector within the Australian medical device market over the next five years.

The leading underlying causes of death in Australia are coronary heart disease, stroke, dementia (including Alzheimer disease), lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (principally emphysema and chronic bronchitis), breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and colorectal cancer. Although Australians are living longer, they are also increasingly suffering from chronic diseases. Approximately 50% of all Australians have one chronic disease and around 20% have at least two. These include, cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, mental health, musculoskeletal conditions, oral health and respiratory diseases (including asthma and COPD).

Statistics Snapshot

Market Size

Healthcare spending (including investment)

US$170 billion

... as percent of GDP


Hospitals, Procedures, Healthcare Professionals

Number of hospitals






Number of hospital beds


... available beds per capita

4.0 beds per 1,000 population



...of which surgeons


...of which pediatricians







Life expectancy men/women total

82.2 yrs; men 79.8 yrs; women 84.8yrs

Infant mortality

4.3 deaths/1,000 live births

Percent of population older than

65% (3.4million)

Annual deaths

7.2/1,000 population

...caused by [highest disease burden]

coronary heart disease

...caused by [second highest]

Dementia and Alzheimer disease

Sources: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare


U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information

Name: Monique Roos

Position: Senior Commercial Specialist


Phone: +61 2 9373 9210

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