Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/03/2014 -- The economic crisis has had a direct effect on the public healthcare sector in terms of some quite severe spending cuts, as well as rising co-payments. Prior to the 2008 crisis, regional governments approved the construction of a number of public hospitals, without serious planning in some cases. Unsurprisingly, some of these projects have collapsed since then, as the budget allocated by the government to public healthcare has been reduced by EUR6.7bn (US$8.9bn) since 2010. The increase in the number of public hospitals has not been homogenous in all the regions, but has been mainly concentrated on four regions: Andalucia, Castilla La Mancha, Comunidad Valenciana and Madrid.
Medical device imports represent the largest part of the market. In US dollar terms, they have experienced uneven growth in recent years due to exchange rate movements. Imports fell by 8.1% to US$3.6bn in the 12 months to March 2013, with a fall of 6.2% registered in the final quarter. All the import areas recorded falls in the annual cumulative period, led by patient aids and diagnostic imaging. Imports fell by 7.5% to US $3.7bn in 2012, following a small decline of 0.2% in 2011, a low rise of 0.9% in 2010 and a contraction of 7.6% in 2009. Between 2003 and 2008, imports recorded double-digit rises every year, except a high onedigit increase in 2008. Overall, imports recorded a negative 2007-2012 CAGR of 1.2%, ranging from 6.9% for patient aids to a negative 7.5% for diagnostic imaging.
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Spain has a strong medical device manufacturing sector, which is based around Madrid and Barcelona. Companies, however, tend to be small and concentrated at the low to medium technology end of the market. Major export categories include medical supplies, syringes, needles & catheters and X-ray equipment. Due to market stagnation and austerity-led measures, medical producers are concentrating efforts in export markets, as a way to counterbalance constrained sales in the internal market. In US dollar terms, exports grew by 11.9% in the 12 months to March 2013, reaching US$1.5bnn, with a lower increase of 8.5% registered in the final quarter. Orthopaedics & prosthetics recorded the highest growth, at 31.7%, followed by other medical devices (21.0%), patient aids (19.9%), dental products (19.2%), consumables (5.5%) and diagnostic imaging (2.5%).
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