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Healthcare Market is Growth Market

- Mr. Horst Giesen, Project Manager, Messe Dusseldorf GmbH

The continuously rising numbers of exhibitors and visitors to MEDICA, ComPaMED and REHACare have shown over the last years that the healthcare market is growth market. By the way: It is one of very few growth markets. In this context, it would not be prudent to discuss all market segments of the health care market in detail. However, using the area of medical products and medical technology, I would like to briefly show why there is reason to expect sustainable growth in the coming years.

Internationally, there are about 18,000 manufacturers of medical products who are currently satisfying a demand of approximately US$ 230 billion. They employ 740,000 workers. The volume of the European market is estimated at US$ 68.5 billion, whereby the number of people employed by the manufacturers of medical products has risen by a noteworthy 40% to currently 9,345. Experts forecast an average growth of the international market of 6-7% in the coming years. India’s market will show an above average growth - it will grow to 6 to 7 times of today’s numbers (Source: EUCOMED Verband [EUCOMED Association], Bundesverband Medizintechnologie BVMed [Federal Assocaition for Medical Technology]; Mahavadi/McKinsey). Currently, the volume of the Indian market amounts to about US$ 340 million.

The positive market outlook results mainly from a change of the demographic age structure in nearly all of the highly developed countries. People are getting older, which leads to increased risk of disase as well as greater variety of disease and thus to increased demand for medical services. Let me show a few numbers only that document the demographic development and may help you comprehend why the demand for medical services will rise even more. Internationally, the proportion of people over 60 years of age is currently at 10%; in 2050, it will be at 21%. In this context, one must point out that the population in most European countries will become extremely "overaged". Because of the low birth rates, forecasts for Germany predict that the number of octogenarians will grow from currently 3 million to 10 million by 2050. At that time, there will be as many as over 80 as there are under 20 in Germany.

I should add that this overaging of the population does not only result in market growth regarding products, systems and technologies geared at diagnostics and treatment, but also increased product and service offers for persons requiring care. In Germany alone, the number of people requiring nursing care will grow from currently three million to over five million by the year 2020 (Source: Federal Statistical Office Germany).

At first glance, these numbers seem low in comparison to the extremely large population of India. More interesting, especially from the perspective of the Indian suppliers that would like to gain a share in the German and European market, is the consideration of the overall health care costs, however. In Germany, these costs amount to approximately US$ 293 billion per year, which corresponds to a per capita cost of about US$ 3,550. The 2,240 German hospitals have a high demand for medical products and medical technology. They create a demand volume of approximately US$ 12.7 billion. A demand volume of about the same amount originates from pharmacies and outpatient health care facilities (e.g. doctor’s surgeries) combined. With regard to the economic region of the European Union, the demand volume of the approximately 10,000 hospitals concerning medical products and medical technology is estimated at roughly US$ 50 billion.

As an aside, it should be mentioned that the healthcare system in Germany can be described as a "job-machine". In the meantime, about 4.2 million people, that is one in ten employed persons, are employed in the health care sector - this includes doctors’ surgeries, hospitals, health insurance or industry. The target group potential for out medical trade fairs in Dusseldorf is therefore enormous. 

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