Vietnam’s Medical Device Market: Opportunities for Foreign Firms

Though modernization efforts have made great strides over the past decade, Vietnam’s hospitals are in desperate need of up-to-date medical equipment. The U.S. government projects that Vietnam will spend US$160 million on medical equipment in 2001, 80 percent of which will be purchased with Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds. Organizations such as The World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development (US-AID) provide the funding for such purchases.

The vast majority (80 percent) of purchases in the medical device sector are made by government hospitals, healthcare centers, and clinics. Vietnam’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, account for 80 percent of the Vietnamese market. Those products in strongest demand include medical imaging equipment, intensive care and monitoring equipment, operating equipment, equipment for treating cardiac and asthmatic conditions, and diagnostic and laboratory equipment. Demand for medical equipment is also growing in the infant private hospital sector. There are currently 10 private hospitals in Vietnam, up from six in 1999.

U.S., German, and Japanese firms dominate the Vietnamese medical device market, each with approximately 30% share of the market. Domestic production is almost nonexistent, though a few local firms do produce patient beds and simple, disposable medical supplies.