Vietnamese firms make no hi-tech medical equipment

By Vien Thong   July 26, 2018 | 06:43 pm PT
The medical equipment market is growing rapidly in Vietnam, but Vietnamese firms have almost no role on the supply side.

Most of hi-tech medical equipment in the country is imported, with Vietnamese firms mainly making medical beds and cabinets.

Hua Phu Doan, Vice President and Secretary General of Ho Chi Minh City Medical Equipment Association, told VnExpress that not much medical equipment was being produced domestically.

“There are roughly 50 large medical equipment manufactures in Vietnam, but they only produce medical beds and cabinets,” Doan said. “In terms of technology, too, Vietnam only plays a small part in the assembly segment with Japanese and Korean manufactures. “

Doan said the top 3 medical equipment providers for Vietnam are the U.S., Germany, and Japan.

Imaging equipment such as magnetic resonators, computed tomography, ultrasound machines, X-ray machines account for 30 percent of the import volume.

Vietnam’s total investment capital in medical equipment reached $950 million in 2016 and rose to $1.1 billion in 2017.

Dang Viet Dung, an official with the Planning and Finance Department of the Ministry of Health, said the industry is forecast to grow by 10-11 percent each year, but Doan said it has already seen an average 18 percent over the past five years.

The largest customers for medical equipment are public hospitals, which account for 70 percent of market demand. Foreign-invested hospitals, domestic private hospitals, research institutes and universities are other big customers.

Last year, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that Japanese medical equipment producer Nipro was expanding its operations in Vietnam with a new factory worth $300 million in Ho Chi Minh City.

The factory will produce catheters, blood tubing and other dialysis equipment that will be sold mainly in Japan and Southeast Asia.

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