Current Market Trends
Population: 17.8 million
GDP*: 240.22 billion
The 2016 budget assigned to the Ministry of Health amounted to $ 9.9 billion. This figure represents a 5% increase compared to 2015 with which the authority expects to increase primary healthcare quality, fund high cost medications, retain specialized physicians, and increase the number of mental and dental attentions. For the primary healthcare attention, it is expected that 106 projects for outpatient centers will be studied, a total of 38 ambulances and 22 mobile dental trucks will be purchased. After the first quarter of this year, the media informed that by the end of this year the public healthcare debt to suppliers would reach approximately $ 500 million. To partially solve this impasse, the Ministry of Finance added additional $ 196 million, that were distributed amongst the country’s 29 healthcare services to cover the drag debt accumulated as of April 2016.
The “Universal Access with Explicit Guarantees” that started in 2005, currently covers 80 diseases; however, the ones with the highest number of patients are arterial hypertension, depression, diabetes, and hypothyroidism. Also, Chile has an aging population and many of their primary health conditions go unsolved. Healthcare sector imports are expected to increase by 2%, in 2016. The slowdown in the Chilean economy is expected to impact other healthcare priorities for the current administration such as information technology and increase in the number of healthcare professionals.
The public healthcare system is comprised of 183 hospitals: 59 high-complexity, 24 medium-complexity and 100 low-complexity hospitals. In all, the public sector has approximately 26,300 beds. In the private sector, there are 109 hospitals, with approximately 11,000 beds.
FONASA, the government-run healthcare insurance system, covers 75% of the population; of the remaining 25%, approximately 5% lacks any type of insurance, and 20% (bordering on 2.6 million people) pay into the private sector insurance system provided by entities called ISAPRES. There are 7 Isapres currently operating in the Chilean market.
Chile’s Universal Access to Healthcare government program, ex “Plan AUGE”, currently known as “GES” (Garantias Explicitas en Salud) started in 2005 and consists of government-funded subsidized healthcare coverage for – currently - 80 diseases considered to be high-incidence. The waiting line for patients in this program has reached over one million.
U.S. medical equipment and devices are well regarded in Chile. A strategy that has proved successful is to appoint a qualified agent or distributor. Chilean distributors in the medical sector are usually knowledgeable, experienced, and with a good network of sales people throughout the country. Reliable after sales support is a priority in this market. Local distributors/representatives should be experienced in selling to the public sector through the government portal www.mercadopublico.cl
The metric system of weights and measures is standard in Chile. The electric power supply is 220V 50Hz. Since the implementation of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, in 2004, medical devices/equipment, and pharmaceuticals enter Chile duty-free, provided a U.S. certificate of origin is presented to Chilean Customs. Imports to Chile, alike all foreign and domestic products are subject to Chile’s 19% VAT (Value Added Tax).
Mandatory registration at the Institute of Public Health is required for all pharmaceuticals. Medical devices such as contraceptives, gloves, needles, and syringes have to be quality tested.
There are 1,002 clinical laboratories along Chile, 303 are government owned through municipalities or health centers and the rest are privately owned. In Santiago, there are 312 laboratories and 22 blood centers, which account for 31% of the private centers to assist 40% of the population.
There is no local production of laboratory equipment other than some refrigerators, cold chambers and blood banks, so the market size is estimated on imports. In 2015, the U.S. was the country of origin of 30% of the total laboratory equipment and 35% of the total reagents imports in Chile.
Miniaturization and automation are boosting the growth of new lines of equipment in the industry. Customers are now seeking space-saving options for cutting costs. Mobility is also another focus; therefore, portable laboratory instruments are hitting the market. Regarding reagents, the focus is on PCR.
U.S. state-of-the-art medical technology has good market potential in Chile, especially in the private sector with regular expansion projects. The Chilean private healthcare system is well regarded in the region. Private hospitals receive foreign patients for treatment on a regular basis. Some of these private hospitals have Joint Commission accreditation; therefore maintaining high standards is a permanent goal. Many Chilean physicians have U.S. post-graduate degrees and maintain regular contact with important U.S. healthcare institutions.
The majority of the medical equipment present in the Chilean market is imported. Local statistical data shows that the United States has approximately 33% of Chile’s market share, followed by Germany with some 21%, and China with approximately 7% market share. Price is an extremely important factor, especially in the public sector where limited funds cover a large segment of the population. The private sector is also price sensitive, but is far more likely to consider recognized brands that have good quality and after-sales reputation.
The following list of equipment is currently on demand in Chile: autoclaves, surgical tables, non-disposable and disposable surgical instruments, cardiology equipment including pacemakers, monitors (low and medium complexity), central monitors, ventilators, aspiration pumps, imaging equipment, trauma equipment, anesthesia instruments and appliances, hospital furniture.
In general, there is no health-required registration imposed on medical devices except for contraceptives, gloves, needles, and syringes that do need authorization/quality control assessment to certify its safety. X-Ray equipment or nuclear medicine equipment does need special authorization from other government agencies. Pharmaceuticals do have mandatory registration that is granted by the Institute of Public Health.
Chile has a favorable import climate. There are no known barriers to U.S. medical equipment, devices, pharmaceuticals, laboratory equipment, or diagnostic test.
September 7-8-9, 2016
The 2017 calendar is yet to be determined.
Private Healthcare Clinics Association
Ministry of Health
Since the implementation of the U.S. Chile Free Trade Agreement, in 2004, medical devices with U.S. Certificate of Origin enter Chile duty free. However, a 19% Value Added Tax is levied over the CIF value of the merchandise. Sub-Sector best prospects include modern senior home care equipment products and assistive devices, modern orthotics, modern orthopedic devices, trauma equipment, central monitors, incubators, surgical tables, disposable and non-disposable surgical instruments.
U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information
Name: Veronica Pinto
Position: Commercial Specialist
Phone: (56-2) 2330-3369
Industries: Pharmaceuticals, medical devices/equipment, dental devices/equipment, biotechnology, and healthcare services.
Name: Claudia Melkonian
Position: Commercial Assistant
Industries: Laboratory/testing equipment, veterinary equipment/products/ pharmaceuticals.
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