The New Zealand medical device market is expected to expand at a steady 5% in the medium term, supplied mainly by imports, which continue to make up nearly all of the market. The small but growing local medical device industry continues to produce mainly for export worldwide thus maintaining the country's reliance on imported goods. With one of the smallest populations in the Asia Pacific region, growth is constrained, but a highly developed healthcare system means per capita spending remains amongst the highest worldwide, similar to the UK.
EBOSGroup, founded in 1922, is one of the largest suppliers of international healthcare products ranging from medical devices to pharmaceuticals (human and veterinary) in the Australasian region. The company is listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and has over 900 staff headquartered in the country, with offices located throughout Australasia.
There is very little domestic production of medical equipment. The one major player, Fisher & Paykel, operates in a few niche areas and anyway tends to concentrate on export markets. The domestic market is heavily reliant on imports, therefore. The USA and Australia are the major sources of imports.
The healthcare sector is funded largely by the government, which is responsible for over 80% of expenditure. Healthcare provision, however, is much more evenly split between the public and private sectors.
The past 20 years has seen a series of reforms aimed at improving efficiency. Market-inspired reforms of the hospital sector in the 1990s did not lead to any widely-perceived improvements, but did create a major debt problem for the public sector. The 1999-2008 government reversed much of these reforms through the creation of District Health Boards, but the debts have remained. The re-election of a National government in 2008 has seen a continued focus on improving efficiency and increased spending on healthcare at the same time.
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