Healthcare Resource Guide: Brunei Darussalam

Updated October 2019

 

Brunei Statistics


Summary
Market Entry

Current Market Trends

Main Competitors

Current Demand

Registration Process

Reimbursement

Barriers
Procurement & Tenders

FAQ

Best Prospects

Statistics Snapshot

CS Contact

Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan

Population: 421,300 (2017)

GDP: USD$12.28 billion (2017)

Currency: Brunei Dollars (BND)

Language: Malay (official), English, Chinese Dialects

Summary                         

Brunei has a small but growing medical industry. Brunei's Ministry of Health is tasked with providing free health care services for its citizens. Brunei’s two major hospitals – Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha Hospital (RIPAS Hospital) and Jerudong Park Medical Center – are further supplemented by four smaller hospitals, eight medical clinics, and seven dialysis centers. Basic health services are extended to rural areas through a network of 15 health centers and 40 health clinics, as well as travelling clinics and flying medical services to access the most remote villages.

Currently, Bruneians with the means to seek advanced medical services outside of the country will travel to nearby countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand for private medical consultations. When the public hospitals are unable to provide specific services for more serious health problems to Brunei citizens locally, the government will then coordinate and pay for Brunei citizens to be sent overseas for treatment. As Brunei’s young population ages and requires medical care, the medical industry in Brunei will be an important long-term growth sector for Brunei’s economy.  

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Market Entry

Brunei’s population - largely clustered around the capital Bandar Seri Begawan, with other population centers connected by a well-maintained highway system - provides a ready destination for U.S. exports with low transit costs once goods arrive in country. U.S. businesses should build personal relationships with local representatives and customers through regular visits or by establishing resident representation. U.S. companies can set up their subsidiary companies or branch offices in Brunei as private limited companies registered with the Registrar of Companies and Business Names.

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Current Market Trends

In March 2019, Brunei's Ministry of Health identified five key goals: excellence in healthcare services, prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, protecting public health through effective policy and regulations, sustainability of health care services and systems through optimal use and innovation, and proactive and transparent governance. For the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the Ministry of Health received a budget of US$286.44 million (12 percent higher than the previous fiscal year). An additional US$8.6 million was allocated under the country’s 11th National Development Plan for five projects: the Pandan Kuala Belait Health Centre, Sengkurong Silver Jubilee Health Centre, Suri Seri Begawan Hospital, and the establishment of a Certified BSL3 Laboratory to support the establishment of the National TB Reference Laboratory and Virology services. Another US$10.8 million has been allocated for medical supplies and services and US$8 million for maintenance needs. 

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Main Competitors

Main competitors in Brunei for the U.S. medical industry are products from Germany and other first world medical device manufacturers.

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Current Demand

Best Prospects for medical equipment and supply manufacturing include:

  • Manufacturing laboratory instruments, test kits, and electromedical apparatus (including electronic hearing aids).
  • Medicines and Medical Consumables.
  • Total Knee Replacement, Total Hip Replacements, Implants, Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction System.

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Registration Process

Even without a physical presence in Brunei, companies generally need a license to do business in the country. One does not need a Brunei citizen representative to do business commercially or when selling directly to the government.

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Reimbursement

The public healthcare services are either free or heavily subsidized by the government. Most organizations in the private sector do provide medical allowances or insurance for their employees.

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Barriers

The United States and Brunei enjoy a long history of trade, dating to an 1850 treaty whereby Brunei and the United States agreed to trade freely and without barriers under Most Favored Nation (MFN) status. Brunei is a growing market for the United States. In 2018, total (two-way) trade between United States and Brunei increased to USD $365 million. The U.S. trade surplus in goods with Brunei was $169 million in 2018. According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of goods and services to Brunei supported an estimated 1000 jobs in 2015 (latest data available), 700 supported by goods exports.

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Procurement & Tenders

Ministry of Health: Tenders and Quotations (link)

Ministry of Health: Health System and Infrastructure Master Plan (link)

Ministry of Health: National Healthcare Plan

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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for the Ministry of Health available at this link.

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Best Prospects

  • Medical Devices Upgrades: As part of the plan to consolidate and realign the government healthcare services, major upgrades are required for hospitals and health centers across the state.
  • Halal Pharmaceuticals: Brunei is one of the first countries to issue guidelines for the manufacturing and handling of halal medicinal products, traditional medicines and health supplements. When the guidelines were released in 2010, it was designed to pave the way for the establishment of halal pharmaceutical companies in the country, and for Brunei to become a hub for halal pharmaceutical exports

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Statistics Snapshot

Market Size

Healthcare spending (including investment)

 

... as percent of GDP

2.42% (2017)

Hospitals, Procedures, Healthcare Professionals UN:

Number of hospitals

6 (2017)

…Public

4 (2017)

…Private

2 (2017)

Number of hospital beds

1224 (2017-public)

... available beds per capita

2.7 per 1000 population (2015)

Number of surgical procedures

108,075 (2017)

Physicians

683 (2017)

Dentists

106 (2017)

Demographics

Population

421,300 (2017)

Life expectancy men/women

Male 76.3 / Female 78.3 (2017l)

Infant mortality

9.5 / 1,000 live births (2017)

Percent of population older than 65

5.4 % (2017)

Annual deaths

1696 (2017)

...caused by Cancer (Malignant Neoplasms)

327 (2017)

...caused by Heart Diseases (including Acute Rheumatic Fever)

250 (2017)

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U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information

Name:              Adriana @ Audrey Agusdin

Position:           Commercial Specialist

Email:              BSBCommercial@state.gov

Phone:             +6732-384-616

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