Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/04/2014 -- Colombia is the third most populous country in Latin America, behind Brazil and Mexico, with a population of 48mn. The capital, Santa Fe de Bogota, has a population of around 7mn. The population is relatively young and growing rapidly thanks to a high birth rate and a low mortality rate.
Colombia is the fourth largest economy in Latin America, after Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, and ranks within the top 30 largest economies in the world. In 2013, GDP is forecast to reach US$379.0bn, equivalent to around US$7,869 per capita. Economic growth remains well above average for the Latin American region with GDP forecast to rise 4.1% in real terms during 2013.
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The country's healthcare infrastructure is adequate in the larger urban areas, but in need of modernisation. The healthcare system is complex, and coverage is not yet universal. Funding is generally very low; per capita health spending is estimated at US$479 in 2013, whilst expenditure on medical equipment is only around US$24 per person.
Colombia announced an Emergency Social Plan in 2010, to tackle corruption and find new sources of income for the public healthcare sector. Ten decrees were signed with a view to protecting the aim of providing health coverage for all. This was followed by Law 1438, which took effect in January 2011.
Current reform is focusing on overhauling the social security framework established under Ley 100 passed in 1993, including replacing employer welfare contributions with an additional tax on company profits and the creation of a single fund to handle the financial resources of the contributory health insurance scheme. The medical device market is heavily reliant on imports, especially in the more high tech sectors. There is some domestic capacity for more basic items. In 2012, Colombia imported medical equipment & supplies valued at US$865.2mn. A few multinationals manufacture in the country. The medical device industry is concentrated around the capital Bogota. Within the capital, a free trade zone has encouraged international
companies to the market.
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