Funding for healthcare in Estonia is principally through a national health insurance system, which came into effect in the 1990s. Healthcare is supposed to be available free under it, but funding has never matched demand, and patient payments for services remain common.
In 2013, the Estonian market for medical equipment and supplies is estimated at US$152.9 million, or US $114.2 per capita. The small size of the market limits scope for the purchase of more expensive items. The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1% over the forecast period, reaching US$186.6 million in 2018, equal to US$140.0 per capita.
Nearly 80% of the medical device market is supplied by imports, principally from western suppliers. There is a small domestic production sector, but this tends to concentrate on exports, to Western Europe and the former USSR.
Medical device imports experienced growth of 3.7% in 2012 in US dollar terms, reaching US$107.7 million. The 2007-2012 CAGR was 2.6%. A fall of 12.0% was registered in 2009, when the economic crisis took its toll, with patient aids, dental products and diagnostic equipment especially hard hit. The leading product area in 2012 was consumables, valued at US$21.1 million, a decrease of 10.0% compared with the previous year and equivalent to 19.6% of total imports.