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Medical Equipment


Medical Equipment Market in Hong Kong Unit: USD thousands






Total Market Size





Total Local Production





Total Exports





Total Imports





Imports from the U.S.





Exchange Rate: 1 USD





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 equipment1 imports in 2014 amounted to US$1.68 billion, representing a slight increase of one percent over 2013. The United States was the market leader in the high-end market segment, capturing about 19 percent of the total import market in 2014, a decrease of one percent of total market share from 2013.

Hong Kong is also a sourcing point for medical products for mainland China. In 2014, transshipment of medical equipment to China through Hong Kong amounted to US$734 million; accounting for approximately 43 percent of Hong Kong’s medical equipment re-exports to all destinations.

Hong Kong’s population of 7.2 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 42 public hospitals and institutions, 47 specialist out-patient clinics, and 73 general out-patient clinics. The rest of the medical service needs are met by Hong Kong’s 11 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.

In terms of public healthcare, the HK Government has increased funding over the last five years by nearly 50 percent, raising its annual recurrent expenditure to US$6.3 billion in 2015-16. In 2014, the HA received a one-off grant of US$1.7 billion to improve and upgrade facilities, including the renovation of over 500 wards in 34 hospitals and the addition of 800 beds over the next decade. Other projects to be developed under the grant include the expansion of operating theatres, emergency departments, out-patient clinics, endoscopy centers as well as comprehensive upgrades to electrical and mechanical engineering installations in hospitals. In 2015-16, HA plans to spend approximately US$130 million out of the US$1.7 billion grant on adding hospital beds and other treatment and diagnostic facilities.

The HA has recently started construction on two new hospitals (Tin Shui Wai Hospital and Hong Kong Children’s Hospital at Kai Tak) as well as the expansion and redevelopment of several hospitals and relating facilities (United Christian Hospital, Kwong Wah Hospital, Queen Mary Hospital and Kwai Chung Hospital). The HA is also planning the development of an acute general hospital in the Kai Tak Development Area (Phase I). The total expenditure on these works is estimated at US$10 billion. Looking further ahead, the HA also plans to redevelop two major hospitals (Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Prince of Wales Hospital).

In 2014, the Hong Kong Government allocated funding of approximately US$50 million to subsidize a colorectal cancer screening pilot program, which will be launched in the end of 2015. To strengthen care and support for mental patients, the HK Government has earmarked additional resources to provide new drugs for patients suffering from severe mental illness. In addition, the HA plans to increase the number of beds in the psychiatric hospital (Siu Lam Hospital) with a view to clear the long waiting list of mental patients within three years.

The Hong Kong Government is also interested in implementing the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme to encourage people to purchase health insurance and provide more choices for users of private healthcare services. Currently, a study is underway to collect and analyze citizens’ views on the scheme. Before taking the project forward, the HA will embark on revamping the regulatory regime for private healthcare facilities to enhance the quality and price transparency of private healthcare services.

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 and 710 privately operated clinics. Every Macau resident enjoys free primary healthcare services. Specialist treatment is also free of charge for 80 percent of public hospital patients. 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
Dental Instruments


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.

A public consultation of the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme has just been completed. If the scheme moves forward, more people will be encouraged to make use of private medical facilities. Interested hospital developers, designers and equipment suppliers should start to make contacts with the authorities and industry players soon.

In neighboring Macau, The Macau Government’s total expenditure on medical and health services in 2013 was about US$550 million (the latest available figure), an increase of 5.7 percent over 2012. Between 2014 and 2020, the Macau Government plans to inject US$1.2 billion to improve its healthcare system.

Hong Kong’s population aged 65 or above is expected to surge from the current 1.1 million to 2.6 million by 2041. Macau has a population of 640,700, of which 8 percent (roughly 51,000) are 65 and above. By 2031, this ratio will likely rise to 22 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.

Web Resources

Trade Shows:

China International Medical Equipment Fair
Date: July 30 – August 1, 2015 in Chengdu
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 2016 (exact date to be confirmed)
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.
Website: http://www.hktdc.com/fair/hkmedicalfair-en/HKTDC-Hong-Kong-International-Medical-Devices-and-Supplies-Fair.html


Hong Kong Doctors Union
Website: www.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.

Hospital Authority
Website: www.ha.org.hk
Description: Established in December 1991, the Hospital Authority is a Hong Kong Government body responsible for managing Hong Kong's public hospitals and clinics.

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 8,500, 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
Website: www.privatehospitals.org.hk
Description: The Hong Kong Private Hospitals Association represents the interests of the 11 private hospitals in Hong Kong.

Macau Health Bureau
Website: www.ssm.gov.mo

Description: The Macau Health Bureau is a public institution established to coordinate the activities between public and private health care organizations and is responsible for specialized and primary health care services, as well as disease prevention and health promotion.

For more information about this industry sector, please contact:

Ms. Olevia Yim, Sr. Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2521-1467
Fax: (852) 2845-9800
Email: olevia.yim@trade.gov

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