Healthcare Resource Guide: Mauritius

 

Mauritius Statistics



Summary

Market Entry

Current Market Trends

Main Competitors

Current Demand

Registration Process

Barriers

Procurement & Tenders

Trade Events

Local Associations

Government Links

Best Prospects

Statistics Snapshot

CS Contacts

 

Capital: Port-Louis

Population: 1.3 million (2017)

GDP: $12.4 billion (2017)

Currency: Mauritian Rupee

Language: English and French (Business)

Summary

Mauritius has a well-developed health system. About 73% of the health needs of the population are catered to by public health institutions and 27% by the private sector. Non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases account for 80% of total mortality in Mauritius every year.

Public hospitals are free in Mauritius, but there are also several private clinics. Mauritius’ healthcare infrastructure includes five major public hospitals, six specialized public hospitals, 18 private multi-specialty clinics, 11 private specialized clinics, and 28 medical laboratories. There are more than 4,500 beds in both public and private hospitals. The Government has announced plans to upgrade the healthcare infrastructure, and tenders are issued on a regular basis for medical equipment as well as for the procurement of pharmaceuticals and disposables.

In the past few years, the government of Mauritius has promoted shifts in the healthcare sector to develop high-value activities like high-tech medicine, medical tourism, and medical education. Several global companies have invested in “centers of excellence” to cater to the growing healthcare needs of both national and international patients. In 2017, Mauritius attracted more than 11,500 foreign patients for treatment in specialty areas such as cosmetic surgery and procedures, orthopedics, cardiology, fertility treatment, and ophthalmology. The main source countries are France, Madagascar, and Seychelles. There are potential opportunities for establishing:

  • Specialized diabetes research and treatment centers
  • Specialized centers for elderly care and rehabilitative medicine
  • Specialized centers for novel treatments/stem-cell therapies
  • Plastic reconstructive surgery clinics
  • Clinics for dental surgery and dentofacial orthopedics
  • Convalescence and pain clinics providing specialized care to patients suffering from acute and chronic conditions

There are also significant opportunities in pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical devices and clinical trials. Preferential access to the European and African markets for Mauritian exports has attracted several international companies to set up medical devices and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Mauritius. It should be noted that exports of most medical devices and pharmaceuticals from Mauritius to the United States are also duty-free. Furthermore, there are 4 companies currently conducting clinical trials in the country.

Market Entry

To enter the Mauritian market, the use of a locally-established agent or distributor is strongly recommended. Local agents have the contacts and the knowledge of customs procedures and preferences to introduce a product or service and to develop a customer base. For products requiring regular servicing such as high end medical equipment, qualified personnel and a reasonable supply of parts are essential for success.

Also, we recommend that U.S. firms join a local partner while bidding for large government healthcare projects, such as the construction of specialized hospitals. In evaluating bids, the authorities often give points to bidders that have a local partner they could contact, especially in projects requiring after-sale support services.

There are no barriers to entry for foreign firms wishing to set up research and development facilities in Mauritius. The firms have to ensure that they comply with the local laws with regards to clinical trials and testing.

Current Market Trends

The local market for medical equipment and pharmaceutical products was estimated at USD 138 million in 2017 and this demand is expected to grow in the light of planned upgrades to the public healthcare infrastructure, the growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, and an aging population. According to the National Health Accounts Report 2015, the proportion of people aged 60 years and above will increase to 25.6% of the population in 2034, thereby increasing the demand for specialized healthcare services.

Main Competitors

In 2017, Mauritius imported close to $24 million worth of medical equipment, mainly from Germany (16%), the United States (12%), South Africa (11%), India (9%) and Japan (8%). Also, there are seven medical device manufacturers in Mauritius, employing about 600 people. In 2017, India remained the main supplier of pharmaceuticals to Mauritius, with 26% of the market, followed by France (18%), Germany (7%), South Africa (7%) and Switzerland (5%). Imports from the United States in 2017 were 1.4% of the total, but some European imports originate from U.S. subsidiaries. Ajanta Pharma, an Indian company, is currently the only pharmaceutical-manufacturing company in Mauritius. Major U.S. healthcare brands represented in Mauritius include: GE Healthcare, 3M, Abott Laboratories, Alcon, Medtronic, Newport Medical Instruments, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers and Squibb, and Merck.

Companies currently involved in the manufacturing of medical devices and pharmaceuticals as well as in clinical trials are listed in Table 4 below.

Table 4: Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing/ Clinical Trials Companies in Mauritius

Name

Main Products

Status

Natec Medical

Catheters & Stents

Autonomous Entity (Mauritius)

FCI Sud

Ophthalmic Implants

Carl Zeiss Subsidiary (Germany)

Lilmo

Cardiovascular and oncology implants

Pérouse Medical subsidiary (now VYGON since July 2015) (France)

Symatese

Artificial skins

Pérouse Medical subsidiary, (now VYGON since July 2015) (France)

Kasios

Orthopaedic and dental implants

Kasios France subsidiary (France)

Envaste

Catheters uro & gastroenterology

Autonomous entity (Mauritius)

Alpinia

Biomedical micromechanics

Statice Santé subsidiary (France)

Ajanta Pharma

Pharmaceuticals

Ajanta Pharma (India)

Contract Research Organizations (Clinical Trials)

Clinical Trials

  • Insight Research
  • Centre International de Developpement Pharmaceutique (CIDP)
  • Centre for Phytotherapy Research and Development (CEPHYR)
  • CAP Research

Current Demand

A new cancer center as well as a new ear, nose and throat (ENT) hospital are currently under construction with finanacial assistance from India. Bids for linear accelerators and other equipment for the cancer center are expected to be issued this fiscal year. In the 2018-19 budget speech, the Prime Minister announced the construction of (i) a new teaching hospital to be financed by the Kuwait Fund and funding from the Saudi government; (ii) a modern eye hospital; (iii) a new National Health Laboratory Services Center, and; (iv) a central warehouse for medical products. The government budget also made provisions for an e-health project. This project will be financed by India and will include the computerization of medical records, nursing management, patient management, and pharmacy services. All these projects will generate demand for a range of medical equipment and software.

As of July 2018, there were 371 registered private drugstores and 38 registered pharmaceutical wholesalers in Mauritius. Of the USD 114 million of pharmaceuticals imported in 2017, the Health Ministry accounted for 25% of the import value. Since Mauritius imports the vast majority of its pharmaceuticals, there are opportunities for U.S. products to increase their share of the market. As government procurement tends to favor generic medicines, opportunities are mostly with pharmaceutical wholesalers. Some private clinics occasionally do their own procurement.

The medical device manufacturing industry has also seen sustained growth over the last few years. Due to the preferential market access that Mauritius enjoys with the EU, leading medical device manufacturers (mostly from France and Germany) have established operations here. They produce high-precision medical devices such as catheters/stents; cardiovascular, orthopedic, and ophthalmic equipment; dental implants; artificial skin; and biomedical products. In order to attract more medical device manufacturing companies, the government offers a number of incentives, including tax holidays for eight years, air and sea freight rebate for exports, and customs duty exemption on raw materials

Registration Process

There are no regulations on the import of medical equipment into Mauritius except for X-ray equipment, which requires a certificate of clearance from the Radiation Protection Authority prior to import. However, government tenders specify the required standards in the bidding documents; usually the “Conformité Européene” (CE) mark or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval are accepted. Private clinics may have specific certification requirements or may simply require that the equipment be from a specific list of countries. Contact details of the Radiation Protection Authority are as follows:

Radiation Protection Authority

Chief Radiation Protection Officer

37, Saint Georges Street, Port-Louis

Tel: (+230)208-0307

Fax: (+230)208-0934

Email: rpa@govmu.org

Pharmaceutical products can only be imported by wholesalers licensed by the Pharmacy Board, which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life. Furthermore, no pharmaceutical product may be imported into Mauritius unless it is registered with the Pharmacy Board as per the Pharmacy Act 1983. Contact details of the Pharmacy Board are as follows:

Pharmacy Board

Office of the Director Pharmaceutical Services

8th Floor, Emanuel Anquetil

Port-Louis

Tel: (+230) 201-1334

Registrar’s Email: saboolell@govmu.org

Reimbursement

Public healthcare services are free for citizens of Mauritius and are entirely funded by tax revenues. The Government provides assistance for treatment that cannot be undertaken in Mauritius, but citizens often complain about red-tape and long delays associated with obtaining such assistance in emergency cases.

Those who seek treatment in private medical institutions usually have a medical insurance plan with a selected provider. Conditions for reimbursement are specific to each provider and to the plan chosen by the individual.

Barriers

There are no specific barriers for U.S. firms entering the Mauritian market. The small size of the Mauritian market (1.3 million people) and the vast distance (10,000 miles) between Mauritius and the United States negatively influence freight costs and therefore the competitiveness of U.S. products versus their European and Asian counterparts. U.S. firms entering the Mauritian market must contend with well-established European and Asian competitors.

Also, as mentioned above, medical devices need to comply with specifications listed in tender documents for both government and private sector bids.

Procurement & Tenders

All government tenders are listed on the public procurement portal of the Government of Mauritius: http://publicprocurement.govmu.org/pages/procurementlist.aspx

Trade Events

There are no specific trade events for the healthcare industry in Mauritius.

Local Associations

Private Medical Practitioners Association

74, SSR Street, Port-Louis

Tel: +230 240 6601

Email: drjowahir@hotmail.com

Pharmaceutical Association of Mauritius

c/o Pharmabest Pharmacy, Raffick Centre, St Pierre

Secretary: Mr. Hossen Sohawon

Tel: (+230) 433-5350

Email: hossen1559@gmail.com

Mauritius Dental Association

7, Les Mirabelles, La Salette Road

Grand Bay

President: Dr. Ragini Sonah

Tel: (+230) 263-7485

Email: mehsouf@yahoo.com

Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry

2nd Floor, Anglo-Mauritius House

6, Adolphe de Plevitz Street

Port-Louis

Tel: (+230) 203-4830

Fax: (+230) 208-0076

World Health Organization, Local Office

1st Floor Anglo Mauritius House

1 Intendance Street

Port Louis

P.O. Box 1194

Port Louis Tel: (230) 210-7300/ 210-7400/ 210-1899

Fax: (230) 210-6474

U.S. Commercial Service Contact Information

Name: Shariff Jathoonia            

Position: Economic and Commercial Specialist        

Email: jathoonisx@state.gov             

Phone: +230 202 4464          

Name: Smita Bheenick

Position: Economic and Commercial Assistant      

Email: bheenicks@state.gov             

Phone: +230 202 4430  

Best Prospects

  • Medical Equipment
  • Pharmaceutical Products
  • Research and Development

Statistics Snapshot

Table1: Market Size

Healthcare spending (including investment)

... as percent of GDP

4.8% (2014)

Table 2: Hospitals, Procedures, Healthcare Professionals

Number of hospitals

29

…Public

11

…Private

18

Number of hospital beds (2017)

4,500

... available beds per capita (2015)

0.0036

Physicians (2016)

1155

Dentists (2015)

380

Table 3: Demographics

Population

1.26 million (2016)

Life expectancy men/women

Men: 71.1 years/Women: 77.8 years (2016)

Infant mortality

11.6 deaths per 1000 live births (2016)

Percent of population older than 65

10.0% (2016)

Annual deaths

(2016 provisional)

8.1 per 1000 mid-year population (2016)

... caused by diseases of the circulatory system (2016)

33.2%

...caused by endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (2016)

24.1%

       

 


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