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Medical Device Industry Outlook in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia




東南アジア諸国の経済は活況を呈しています。国際通貨基金(IMF)によると、ASEAN諸国全体では、2014年に年平均GDP成長率4.8%を達成しま した。この高い経済成長は、地域における中産階級、及びヘルスケアへの支出増をもたらしています。Pacific Bridge Medicalによると、ASEAN諸 国全体の医療機器市場は、2013年に約46億ドルを記録し、2019年には90億ドルへの到達が見込まれています。中でも、マレーシア、タイ、及びイン ドネシアが、地域の医療機器市場の65%を占めています。本記事では、これら3ヶ国における医療機器市場の展望について考察します。

Medical Device Industry Outlook in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia

The economies of the Southeast Asian countries are booming. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asean countries as a whole achieved an average annual GDP growth rate of 4.8% in 2014. The significant economic growth has resulted in the growth of the middle class population and healthcare spending in the region. According to Pacific Bride Medical, the medical device market in Asean countries as a whole was worth approximately $4.6 billion in 2013, and is predicted to reach $9 billion by 2019. Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia account for approximately 65% of the existing medical device market in the region. This article looks at the outlook for the medical device industry in these three countries.


The Malaysian government identified the healthcare sector as one of the major economic areas and the country is currently making a significant investment in building healthcare infrastructure as well as engaging in clinical research. Currently, there are over 350 hospitals in Malaysia, including approximately 150 public hospitals. According to Espicom, the medical device market in Malaysia was worth $1,359 million in 2013, which imported medical devices accounted for $1,173.3 million of that total. Espicom claims that the market is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.1% and will reach $2,868.6 million in 2018. There will be a significant demand for consumables medical devices and dental products.

Malaysia is rich in rubber and the country is a leading producer of latex products such as syringes and surgical gloves. It is said that the country produces around 60% of the rubber gloves and around 80% of catheters that are used in the world. In recent years, exports of diagnostic imaging devices have also grown, particularly electrocardiographs and other electro diagnostic devices. In 2013, medical device exports by Malaysia, according to Espicom, reached $1,707.4 million, a year-on-year increase of 19.7%. Espicom claims that the export value was significantly higher than that of imports, with trade surplus balance of $534.1 million the same year.


Pacific Bridge Medical claims that healthcare expenditures in Thailand reached approximately $220 / person in 2013. The national healthcare policy, though scope of application is limited, has covered 99% population. Currently, there are more than 850 public hospitals and almost 600 private hospitals in Thailand. According to Pacific Bridge Medical, there was, by the end of 2013,an $1 billion medical device market in Thailand, with a yearly growth rate of 15%. Currently, two-thirds of the medical devices used in the country are imported. Only lower-end devices, such as surgical latex gloves, disposable test kits, disposable syringes and so on are manufactured and supplied domestically.

Nevertheless, the Thai medical device industry has been supported by the Thai government. For example, the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) has provided significant benefits for manufacturers producing medical devices in the country. One of the major issues facing the industry is a lack of quality-standard testing labs. Hence, the Thai government approved a plan in April 2013 that would establish an industrial estate that particularly
accommodates medical device manufacturers. The plan expects to accommodate exhibition, distribution, production, and research and development centers as well as testing laboratories. It has been reported that one private firm is already developing an industrial estate in Kanchanaburi province to accommodate small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) manufacturing beauty products, herbal medicines, health products and medical devices. At present, Thailand’s exports of medical devices, according to the Office of Industry Economies (OIE) of Ministry of Industry (Thailand), is worth 92 billion baht / year, accounting for less than 1% of the global market. However, the Ministry hopes to grow this by 30% in the near future.


Pacific Bridge Medical estimates healthcare expenditures in Indonesia will reach approximately $150 / person by 2015. Currently, Indonesia has approximately 1,800 hospitals, and half of them are private hospitals. According to Ethnographic Medical Research (EMeRG), the sizeable medical device market in Indonesia was worth around $560 million in 2013, with imported medical devices accounting for 97% of the total. Demand for medical furniture, endoscope equipment, dialysis equipment, anesthesia instruments, ophthalmological equipment and wheelchairs is growing significantly in Indonesia. Currently, mainly lower-end medical devices such as hospital furniture, orthopedic aids and surgical gloves are manufactured in Indonesia.


In the future, the Indonesian medical device market is expected to grow continuously due to various factors. For example, private hospitals and clinics in Indonesia are upgrading their medical devices in order to maintain competitiveness. Also, hospitals in the country’s rural areas have gained a growing autonomy for purchasing and upgrading new medical devices. In addition, in January 2014, the Indonesian government launched the National Health Insurance Program (JKN), with the aim of providing every Indonesian with a minimum level of healthcare insurance coverage by 2019. The JKN has significantly increased the number of patients, boosting the demand for medical devices.


In Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, increasing healthcare spending, as well as government support for the respective healthcare sectors has resulted in the continuous growth of the medical device industry. Due to the significant portion of medical devices that are imported by these countries, the medical device industries in each of these countries continue to present opportunities for foreign medical device manufactures. Yet, foreign manufacturers will have to overcome various challenges, especially the lack of unified requirements, systems and fees for medical device approval at the regional level which have made it difficult to launch new ventures up till now.

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