The domestic medical device market in Vietnam is forecasted to be worth US$ 1.8 Billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6% between 2017 and 2022F according to a report by Ken Research
In terms of domestic consumption of medical devices, Vietnam currently imports more than 90% of its needs in medical devices as there are few local manufacturers of sophisticated or specialized devices with most imports coming from Japan, Germany, the USA, China and Singapore
Imports of medical equipment in 2017 totalled US$1.1 billion which comprised mainly diagnostic imaging equipment (X-ray, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography scanners) and equipment used for surgery, endoscopy, sterilization, testing and medical waste treatment, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Medical Equipment Association
Domestic manufacture focuses on unsophisticated lower value devices such as scalpels and disposable supplies, though there are more startups developing digital medicine and artificial intelligence solutions
In terms of distribution, there are few nationwide medical device distributors, with the majority being local.
Regulatory authority and laws governing medical devices in Vietnam
Medical devices and IVDs are regulated by the Department of Medical Equipment and Construction (DMEC) under the Vietnamese Ministry of Health
The DMEC implements and enforces Medical Device Decree no 36/2016/ND-CP, Decree no 169/2018/ND-CP and Decree no 03/2020/ND-CP which regulate medical devices in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s healthcare system
According to Fitch Solutions, Vietnam’s healthcare expenditure was approximately US$17 billion in 2019 which is expected to reach US$23 billion by 2022 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7% fueled by rapid economic development creating a fast-growing middle class as well as a rapidly ageing population both contributing to an increasing demand for healthcare services
The healthcare system in Vietnam is a mix of public and private whereby individuals pay for medical services themselves at both public and private hospitals.
The Vietnamese government is striving towards a universal healthcare system which is financed through a social health insurance scheme; in 2019 87% of Vietnam’s population (83.6 million) are covered under this scheme according to The ASEAN Post
The main problem faced by the Vietnam healthcare sector is that many hospitals are outdated with much of the existing medical equipment requires replacement. Public hospitals also suffer from chronic overcrowding due to a shortage of qualified medical staff and beds.
People aged 65 and over in 2020 constituted around 7.9% of the population; Vietnam has one of the fastest ageing populations in Asia as it expected that almost a third of the population will be 60 or over by 2050 approximately 29 million people according to Help Age International
Communicable diseases impact on morbidity has reduced significantly from 38% in 1996 to a projected 18% in 2026; with cardiovascular diseases now the leading cause of death and disability (stroke and ischaemic heart disease), followed by road traffic accidents according to a report published by the BMJ in 2020
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is calculated to be 6.7% in 2021 and forecasted to continue at this level through to 2025 (6.6%) according to the International Monetary Fund
Unemployment rate of 2.0% in 2020 according to Statista.
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