Mexico imported medical equipment, instruments, disposable and dental products worth US $3.5 billion in 2010. This represented 90 percent of the medical equipment and instrument market and 2 percent of the disposables. Of these imports 57 %, or US$ 2 billion, were of U.S. origin. The main foreign suppliers of medical devices are Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea and UK.
U.S. medical products are highly regarded in Mexico due to their high quality, after sales service, and price point compared to competing products of similar quality. Consequently, U.S. medical equipment and instruments have a competitive advantage and are in high demand in Mexico.
Public health care institutions account for 70 – 80 percent of total medical services provided nationwide while private health care institutions cover approximately 25-30 percent of the Mexican population, including 32 million people with private medical and accident insurance. In 2007, Mexico had 3,140 accredited private hospitals, of which only 80 had more than 50 beds and the capacity to offer highly specialized services.
Best prospects include the following:
Key factors in order to successfully compete are quality, after sales service, warranty and price.
Most large public and private hospitals are regularly seeking the most modern and highly specialized medical devices. Some medium and small private hospitals with limited budgets buy used or refurbished equipment. However, public hospitals by law, cannot buy used or refurbished products. In order to reduce costs many public and private hospitals are outsourcing parts of their medical treatment services to companies that offer “integral surgery services”. This is delivered as a “pay per event”, which includes all the necessary products required to perform a surgery. As such, hospitals are able to avoid big capital investments in materials, pharmaceuticals, and instruments, and at the same time gain access to some of the most modern specialized surgical equipment.
Most medical and health care products need to be registered with the Mexican Secretariat of Health (SSA) prior to sale or use in Mexico. In addition, foreign medical device manufactures require a legally appointed distributor/representative in Mexico responsible for the product and registration process. Lastly, there can be delays in receiving registration/marketing approvals from COFEPRIS.
Useful links for public institutions
For private hospitals
For more information:
Healthcare Services, Medical Devices
U.S. Commercial Service
U.S. Embassy Mexico City