This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 2/5/2019

Overview

Medical Equipment Market in Hong Kong                                       Unit: USD thousands

 2016
 
2017
 
2018 (estimated)2019 (estimated)
Total Market Size266,464243,951262,000280,000
Total Local Production285,000243,000250,000256,000
Total Exports2,014,0612,086,8552,180,0002,278,000
Total Imports1,995,5252,087,8062,192,0002,302,000
Imports from the U.S.450,869497,116536,000580,000
Exchange Rate: 1 USD7.87.87.87.8
 
Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)
Data Sources:
Total Local Production: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
Total Exports: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
Total Imports: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources
Imports from U.S.: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department & Industry Sources

Hong Kong relies heavily on imports to satisfy its medical equipment needs since the city’s medical equipment production is low. Total medical equipment[1] imports in 2017 amounted to US$2.08 billion, representing an increase of 4.6 percent over 2016. The United States was the market leader in the high-end market segment, capturing about 23 percent of the total import market in 2017, an increase of 1.2 percent of total market share from 2016.

Hong Kong is also a sourcing point for medical products for mainland China. In 2017, transshipment of medical equipment to China through Hong Kong amounted to US$792 million; accounting for approximately 38 percent of Hong Kong’s medical equipment re-exports to all destinations.

Hong Kong’s population of 7.4 million enjoys a comprehensive range of medical and health services delivered by the public and private sectors. On the public side, the Hospital Authority (HA) manages 43 public hospitals and institutions, 48 specialist out-patient clinics, and 73 general out-patient clinics. The rest of the medical service needs are met by Hong Kong’s 12 private hospitals and hundreds of private out-patient clinics. The HA is the largest end-user of goods and services in Hong Kong’s healthcare sector.

To cope with an aging population, the Hong Kong Government has been increasing its funding on public healthcare. US$9 billion has been allocated to recurrent healthcare expenditure for fiscal year 2018, an increase of more than US$1 billion over 2017 and accounting for 16.5 per cent of total government recurrent expenditure.

Hong Kong has commenced its US$25 billion 10-year hospital development plan to enable HA to expand and upgrade healthcare facilities, including 5,000 additional hospital beds, 320 operating theaters, redevelopment and expansion of 11 hospitals and a new acute general hospital. This new hospital will provide 2,400 beds and will be the first neuroscience center in Hong Kong.

The city will set off its next round of hospital development planning in the coming five years.  The second 10-year plan will cover the redevelopment of the Princess Margaret Hospital and Tuen Mun Hospital, construction of a new hospital at King’s Park (in-situ site of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital) and expansion of North Lantau Hospital.  The second plan is expected to deliver 3,000 to 4,000 additional hospital beds.

An aging population means a prevalence of chronic diseases. In response, the HA will strengthen ambulatory services, including a plan to construct ambulatory care centers and community health centers, and improve the clinic facilities by phases.

The colorectal cancer screening pilot program started in September 2016 will be extended to cover individuals aged between 50 and 75.  The Government will inject US$120 million in the program over the next five years. The Hong Kong Government will establish a framework to implement measures on disease prevention, disease screening and identification (especially chronic diseases) making use of big data.

The Hong Kong Government is also interested in implementing the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme to encourage citizens to purchase health insurance; and providing more choices for users of private healthcare services.  The Government plans to offer tax incentive for procuring such health insurance products.

The healthcare system of the Macau Special Administrative Region includes specialized and primary healthcare provided by two public hospitals: Hospital Conde de S. Januário and Macau University Hospital (an institution established under the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) Foundation), one private, non-profit hospital, Kiang Wu, 10 public clinics and 319 healthcare establishments. Every Macau resident enjoys free primary healthcare services.

One of the best ways for American SME suppliers to sell medical products in the Macau market is through Hong Kong-based agents or distributors, given the relatively smaller size of Macau and the proximity of the two markets. Many of Hong Kong’s medical agents/distributors have established networks and excellent relationships with the medical industry in Macau.
Sub-Sector Best Prospects
  • In Vitro Diagnostic Equipment and Reagents
  • Implantable and Intervention Materials
  • Therapeutic Products
  • Imaging Products
  • Surgery and Emergency Appliances
  • Physiotherapy Equipment
  • Rehabilitation Equipment
  • Geriatric Specialized Products
  • Home Medical Equipment
  • Orthopedic Implants and Instruments
  • Dental Implants and Instruments

Opportunities

Hong Kong’s public and private healthcare development projects represent outstanding business opportunities for U.S. suppliers of hospital systems, medical devices, laboratory equipment, instruments and hospital supplies. HA’s tender notices and invitations for expression of interest are available from this web page.

With an overburdened public healthcare system, the Hong Kong Government proposed introducing the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme. If the scheme moves forward, the general public will be encouraged to make use of private medical facilities and more land will be allocated for private hospital development. Interested hospital developers, designers and equipment suppliers should start to make contacts with the authorities and industry players soon.

In neighboring Macau, the Macanese Government’s total expenditure on medical and health services in 2016 was about US$780 million (the latest available figure), an increase of more than 7 percent over 2015.  The Macau Government injections to further improve its healthcare system in the next few years are anticipated to increase.

Hong Kong’s population aged 65 or above is expected to surge from the current 1.16 million to 2.37 million in 2036. Macau has a population of 650,000, of which 9.7 percent (roughly 63,400) are 65 and above. By 2031, this ratio will likely rise to 18.6 percent. The rapidly aging population from both cities will need elder care facilities, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, as well as products for the elderly.

The people of Hong Kong and Macau are becoming more health conscious and focused on preventive care, which increasingly includes routine vaccinations, screening for various cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, prenatal care and regular wellness visits.

Owing to various government campaigns, the Hong Kong public is becoming more aware of oral health. Cosmetic dentistry has also become very popular in the last several years.

Best Practice for U.S. Exporters

The best practice for U.S. exporters of pharmaceutical products, medical equipment and devices to expand into the Hong Kong market is through Hong Kong agents and distributors. These agents and distributors can be helpful in marketing U.S. healthcare products in Hong Kong and sometimes in mainland China. Hong Kong-based agents and distributors usually include Macau in their sales territory, and may have networks in cities in mainland China. U.S. exporters of healthcare products not having an office in Hong Kong are required to appoint a Locally Responsible Person (LRP). This LRP can be the Hong Kong distributor or an independent third party but has to be based in Hong Kong. The LRPs serve as intermediary and communicate with the end-users, importers, the Hong Kong Government and the U.S. exporters to ensure safe and efficacious use of the products.

Web Resources

Key Government and Regulatory Agencies
Hong Kong Department of Health
Medical Device Control Office
Address:  Room 604, 6/F, CityPlaza Three,
14 Taikoo Wan Road,
Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong 
Tel: (852) 3107-8484 
Fax: (852) 3157-1286
Email Address: http://www.mdco.gov.hk/

Hong Kong Hospital Authority
Address: Hospital Authority Building,
147B Argyle Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong 
Tel: (852) 2300-6555
Fax: (852) 2890-7726 
Email: enquiry@ha.org.hk

Macau Health Bureau
Address: Edifício da Administração dos Serviços de Saúde, Rua Nova à Guia, n.º 339, Macau
Tel: (853) 2831-3731
Fax: (853) 2871-3105
Email: info@ssm.gov.mo

Trade Shows
China International Medical Equipment Fair
Date: May 14-17, 2019 in Shanghai, China
Description: The Fair is held twice a year, spring and autumn, in two different cities in China. The exhibition covers a wide array of products, including, medical imaging, diagnosis instruments, electronic devices, medical information technology, first aid and rehabilitation equipment and supplies.
Website: http://en.cmef.com.cn/

Hong Kong International Medical Devices and Supplies Fair
Date: May 14-16, 2019
Description: The Fair is organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council & co-organized by the Hong Kong Medical and Healthcare Device Industries Association (HKMHDIA). The fair showcases a wide variety of medical devices, technologies and supplies.


Associations
Hong Kong Doctors Union
Website: http://hkdu.org/
Description: Hong Kong Doctors Union is the only trade union for all doctors in Hong Kong. Its primary objective is to safeguard the welfare and rights of doctors.
 
The Hong Kong Medical Association
Website: http://www.hkma.org/eindex.htm
Description: The Hong Kong Medical Association represents the interests of medical practitioners in Hong Kong. With a membership of approximately 10,000, which comprises the majority of registered medical practitioners in Hong Kong, the Association nominates members to serve various medical and related statutory and non-statutory institutions.

The Private Hospitals Association
Description: The Hong Kong Private Hospitals Association represents the interests of the 12 private hospitals in Hong Kong.
For more information about this industry sector, please contact the U.S. Commercial Service in Hong Kong:

U.S. Commercial Service,Hong Kong           
Ms. Olevia Yim, Sr. Commercial Specialist
Tel: (852) 2521-1467
Fax: (852) 2845-9800
Email: olevia.yim@trade.gov
 
[1] For the purposes of this profile, medical equipment refers to the instruments and apparatus found under HS code 9018, 9019, 9021; breathing appliances under HS code 9020, radiotherapy apparatus under HS code 9022, thermometers under HS code 9025, furniture under HS code 9402, all with applications in medical or dental field.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Hong Kong Macau Healthcare Trade Development and Promotion