£810 / $1295 / €985
The Republic of Lithuania is situated in north-eastern Europe and is the largest of the three Baltic states. It is bordered by Latvia, Belarus, Poland and by the territory of the Russian Federation (Kalingrad Oblast). The population of Lithuania is estimated at 3.3 million in 2011. Lithuania joined the EU in 2004.
Funding for healthcare in Lithuania is principally through the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. Compulsory insurance came into force in 1997, following a delay in its implementation. It provides free basic treatment to the insured population, but unofficial payments still occur, to cover the cost of pharmaceuticals and staff wages. Private expenditure has increased in recent years and was equal to around 27% of total spending in 2011.
In 2012, the Lithuanian market for medical equipment and supplies will be valued at an estimated US$223.7 million, or US$70 per capita. After experiencing a contraction in 2009 in line with the global financial crisis, it returned to growth in 2011 and by 2017, we forecast the market will be valued at US$326.6 million or US$105.1 per capita. The development of the ongoing eurozone crisis may affect market growth.
Lithuania does not currently have a target date for the adoption of the single currency; in August 2012 its then Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said that the country will join the euro when the eurozone is ready (in the October 2012 parliamentary elections, he was not re-elected). Previously, the government had voiced ambitions to join the single currency in 2014, and such a move will help facilitate medical device imports and exports within the EU, but this ascension is now likely to be delayed until 2015.
Around 90% of the medical device market is supplied by imports, principally from western suppliers. Ex-Soviet countries still hold strong positions in niche markets, but their influence is falling. Lithuania has a small production sector, focused in the orthopaedic and therapeutic respiration areas. Following a drop in exports in 2009, data from 2011 show that medical device exports performed well, climbing to US$204.9 million.