This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 10/24/2018
The number of healthcare centers -public and private- in the country has reached 2,902 in the last 10 years including investments in hospitals and outpatient centers.  Healthcare infrastructure projects is a priority for Chile, due to the country’s aging population and needs of patients with chronic diseases. 

Chile’s annual healthcare expenditure totals approximately 8% of GDP.  Public healthcare debt is expected to reach $1.2 billion by the end of 2018.  FONASA, the government-run healthcare insurance system, covers 77% of the population; of the remaining 23%, approximately 5% lacks any type of insurance, 3% has insurance under the Ministry of Defense (i.e., armed forces and police), and 16% (approximately 2.6 million people) pay into the private sector insurance system, which is provided by entities that are equivalent in the U.S. to health insurance companies called ISAPREs. 

U.S. companies have invested heavily in the Chilean healthcare sector over the last five years. In 2013, the U.S.-based Christus Health network invested in RedSalud network of Chile’s Catholic University. In 2014, Walgreens Boots Alliance bought a major pharmacy chain, Farmacias Ahumada.  In 2017, Nexus acquired Masvida, one of Chile’s twelve ISAPREs. In 2018, United Health Group acquired the large private health insurance and medical provider Banmedica, giving the company market entry in Chile, Peru, and Colombia. 

Healthcare agreements exist between several important U.S. medical centers and private Chilean hospitals.  Massachusetts General Hospital has an agreement with Clínica Universidad de Los Andes. Numerous renowned U.S. healthcare centers are working with Clinica Alemana, including Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Chest Disease Center-Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.  Clinica Alemana also has agreements with several hospitals in Germany, Belgium, Argentina, Italy, and Spain.  Clinica Las Condes is associated with Johns Hopkins Medicine. These agreements cover diverse areas, including scientific research and exchanges, U.S. medical specialist evaluations/second opinions of Chilean patients, interaction with renowned U.S. experts, and opportunities to learn about U.S. healthcare models.

There are two private healthcare centers in Chile with Joint Commission Accreditation: Clinica Alemana and Clinica Las Condes. 

In terms of regulation, pharmaceuticals are subject to mandatory registration at the Institute of Public Health (ISP, in Spanish).  Currently, medical devices that require ISP authorization include contraceptives, gloves, needles, and syringes.  However, the Chilean Congress is currently considering a law that may impose registration on additional medical devices.

 2015201620172018 estimated
Total Local Production5566
Total Exports11111212
Total Imports673700395410
Imports from the US15415197110
Total Market Size667694389404
Exchange Rates: 1 USD654677649640
(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)
Units: Millions of USD
Source: Chilean Customs Data

Leading Sub-Sectors
Best prospect sub-sectors include:
  • Telemedicine technology
  • Healthcare information management systems
  • Digital medical record systems
  • Remote monitoring systems for chronic diseases
  • Medical devices, such as central monitors and essential emergency medical equipment.
Since taking office in March 2018, the Piñera Administration has identified the following healthcare priorities:
  • creating a unified national record of patients on waiting lists for government-funded treatment of certain diseases, GES;
  • implementing a system for quality care of elderly citizens;
  • improving management systems to foster capacities and efficiencies in hospitals and outpatient centers;
  • strengthening and expanding the annual immunization program;
  • creating a network of high-quality family outpatient centers throughout the country;
  • modernizing public hospitals with the construction of thirty new hospitals, thus creating 7,000 new beds over the next six to eight years;
  • modernizing management and introducing new technologies; reducing drug costs to foster competition and transparency; implementing an oral healthcare plan; among others. 
Public sector opportunities are published as tenders at the government procurement website, Foreign companies may register on this site as foreign suppliers; however, as with other segments of the Chilean market, it is far more effective to appoint a local representative with experience in selling to the public sector.  Local representatives generally have good contacts in the public and private sector and a network of sales people throughout the country to provide after-sale service and support, which is highly valued and demanded in this market.

Web Resources
For additional information, please contact CS Santiago Commercial Specialist Verónica Pinto,

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Chile Healthcare Trade Development and Promotion