Market Entry Current Market Trends Main Competitors
GDP*: $35.83 billion (2014)
GDP/capita: $5,498 (2015)
Currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Language: Arabic (official)
Jordan is a regional leader in medical tourism. The World Bank ranked Jordan as the leader in the Arab region and the fifth in the world as a medical tourism hub, boasting the latest technologies and highly-educated, well-trained doctors. Many Jordanian physicians have received some form of medical training in the United States, giving U.S. products good exposure.
Successful market entry strategies for Jordan 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 Jordanian context for a product or service, its competitors, standards, regulations, sales channels, and applications. Success in the market will require appointing a Jordanian distributor or establishing a local subsidiary, and setting-up a local sales presence. Typically, distributors for medical products will cover the entire country and/or region and some may also have an office in Dubai, Saudi Arabia or Iraq.
U.S. companies are encouraged to appoint technically strong agents and distributors to sell their products and technologies in Jordan, and to participate in leading trade exhibitions, such as the “Arab Health” in Dubai, for market and product exposure. The U.S. Commercial Service (CS) offers programs to introduce U.S. products and technologies in Jordan. Performing due diligence on potential local partners is just as important as in the United States.
Parastatal companies purchase commodities through calls for international tenders. These are announced in the daily press. The Commercial Service of the U.S. Embassy in Amman reports most of these tenders to the U.S. Department of Commerce. U.S. firms must use a Jordanian agent to purchase tender documents from the issuing public sector entity.
In many cases, a U.S. firm may not be able to provide the wide variety of products required in large tenders. However, a company can offer a bid by forming a consortium. Jordanian buyers prefer a single bid or an entire tender rather than having to piece together bids for each component. Public sector hospitals may request credit in their procurement tenders. While suppliers offering credit will certainly have a better chance of winning bids, sales without credit are sometimes made since other factors such as price, quality, and a delivery schedule may be of greater importance.
Ministry of Health tenders are issued by the General Supplies Department, while the University of Jordan, Royal Medical Services and the Ministry of Defense all release their own tenders. Tenders are published in the Jordan Times and the Middle East Economic Digest.
Current Market Trends
The $1 billion market is price sensitive and competitive. Jordan spends approximately 10 % of its GDP on healthcare. Jordanians increasingly suffer from asthma; cancer; diabetes; obesity; heart stroke, vascular disease; osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis; and osteoporosis. Opportunities exist for technologies that avert or reduce disability because of these diseases.
As part of the Government initiative to reform the healthcare sector, reforms underway include:
Medical equipment: Demand for medical equipment and services should increase during the next few years with the increase in the number of government and privately owned hospitals; new equipment for hospitals under construction; renovated equipment to replace existing equipment in functioning facilities; upgrading clinics and health care structures; expanding health insurance coverage; and shifting from older conventional methods to modern treatment methods. It should be mentioned that since 1998, the Ministry of Health has prohibited the import of used and refurbished medical devices into the Kingdom.
In the meantime, Jordan continues to make efforts, such as marketing campaigns and web promotions, to attract medical tourists from new destinations, including the former Soviet Union and Africa. In 2016 Jordan held an international medical tourism congress aiming to develop new strategies to improve and expand the capacity of the private health sector while also seeking opportunities for growth from other markets. Regulatory policies are also being implemented to gain international quality accreditation to provide standardized protocols for global patients.
The E-health care initiative is another key government program aiming to ensure the accountability of the health care system. The e-health system will operate the storage, retrieval and updating of the electronic health records of patients cared for by all the participating healthcare facilities in Jordan. The government began a pilot project of the system in 2011 and will expand it to the entire health care system, starting with public hospitals.
Imports supply approximately 80 percent of Jordan’s demand for medical equipment. Key suppliers include the United States, the European Union, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan. Many suppliers in the Jordanian industry are distributors. The major American medical companies represented
in Jordan (either through local representatives or subsidiary offices) include GE Ultrasound, Philips, Johnson & Johnson Medical, and Medtronic.. U.S. companies may experience strong competition from other American firms or multinationals already in the market.
Importers seek to source cost-effective and innovative products that will improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. Opportunities exist for products that provide a significant improvement in clinical outcomes, and product with clearly differentiated capabilities.
Government healthcare policies and public health influence the volume and pricing of healthcare products and services. Both the public and private sectors provide healthcare in Jordan. Healthcare expenditure in 2015 is expected to reach USD 3.21bn.
Medical tourism generates over USD 1 billion in revenues annually. Jordan expects to reach 300,000 medical tourists in 2018, bringing revenues of USD 1.5 billion. Jordan’s rate of healthcare expenditures is the third highest in the region. 106 hospitals serve Jordan’s population and around 250,000 patients from neighboring countries annually. Ten percent of Jordan’s GDP goes toward healthcare.
The Jordanian medical device market is projected to grow at an above-average pace of 9.3 percent per year until 2018, from an estimated USD 243.7 million in 2015 to USD 380.9 million in 2018. The overall market size and per capita spending will remain comparatively small in global terms. Medical tourism is the key driver of growth.
The number of new hospitals, both private and public, is expected to grow, as is the demand for medical equipment and pharmaceuticals for the following reasons: equipment will be needed for newly constructed hospitals and for clinics and hospitals that are being renovated.
The government plans to expand the “e-health initiative system” piloted in 2011 to public hospitals and beyond, including the storage, retrieval and updating of electronic patient health records managed by participating healthcare facilities. The government in end of 2015 signed a five-year framework agreement with the Electronic Health Solutions Company (EHS) to regulate the implementation of the e-health programe “Hakeem” at the national level. The vision behind the Hakeem programme is to create a database of patients’ medical histories across the Kingdom, including all the tests, procedures and surgeries they undergo, in addition to the diseases they suffer from, their allergies, the medications they take and other health information. Currently, there are 10 public hospitals connected to the programme, with the figure expected to reach 17 by the end of this year. In addition, there are 33 health centres connected to the system.
There is a need in the next five years for new hospitals in Jordan, (focusing on the cities of Amman, Zarqa, and Irbid). This new hospital construction will trigger demand for both professional services and medical products:
The best prospects in Jordan include:
The Ministry of Health sets technical rules and specifications applicable to all medical equipment to ensure that all products being sold to Jordanian end users meet the requirements of safety and quality. In Jordan, public sector tenders do not require regulatory review if the product has been authorized for marketing in the US, Europe or Japan. Other specifications are stipulated in the tender terms on a case-by-case basis.
Medical equipment procured by the public sector is tested either by the beneficiary itself (i.e. Ministry of Health, Royal Medical Services, etc.) or the Royal Scientific Society. This testing is not applicable to medical equipment procured by the private sector, which is not subject to any testing procedures.
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