£810 / $1295 / €985
The Belarusian medical device market is small and under-developed. Key metrics, such as health expenditure per capita and medical device spending, are the lowest in Europe. An ailing economy and a political regime resistant to market modernisation, and therefore unattractive to investors, are both dominating factors which limit the development of the healthcare sector and dampen demand.
The healthcare system in Belarus is little changed from the Soviet era. It is funded through general taxation. In theory, the whole population, other than temporary residents, is entitled to free healthcare, which covers a wide range of services. Pharmaceuticals prescribed for outpatients and dentistry & optician costs require either full or partial payment from patients.
The private healthcare sector in Belarus is very small compared with the public sector, representing only 7% of activity. Privatisation has been slow in recent years, as the government wishes to provide free healthcare for the whole population. Despite state guarantees, some doctors still charge patients for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals that they should not have to pay for, in order to supplement their incomes.
In 2012, the Belarusian market for medical equipment & supplies is estimated at US$213.5 million, or US$23 per capita. It is expected that the medical device market will continue to expand at a rate of 9.8% per annum, reaching US$340.5 million by 2017, equal to US$36 per capita.
Around 79% of the medical device market is supplied by imports. Western manufacturers account for the majority, although ex-Soviet suppliers still retain some share in niche areas. Locally produced devices are distributed primarily in Belarus; therefore, exports are low.
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