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Limited Budgets Drive Refurbished Medical Imaging Equipment Market

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 09 Dec 2013
Increasing global acceptance of refurbished equipment due to public sector budgetary constraints is encouraging the uptake of refurbished medical imaging equipment in the private sector as well. These are the latest findings of Frost & Sullivan (Frost, Mountain View, CA, USA), an international market research firm.

The Eurozone economic slowdown has made it tough for private hospitals, particularly in Southern Europe, to procure new imaging modalities. Streamlined budgets and escalating number of medical procedures, along with the need to spend less on technologies while gaining the maximum benefit from them, has sustained demand in private hospitals for refurbished equipment across most imaging departments, including nuclear medicine, mammography, and minimally invasive surgeries (MIS).

“Growth of the private healthcare sector has increased the uptake of high-quality imaging modalities, as private hospitals focus strongly on returns on investment,” said Frost healthcare research analyst Raghuraman Madanagopal, BSc. “Refurbished medical imaging equipment provides these hospitals with an opportunity to stay ahead of competitors by conducting more advanced procedures at a lower cost.”

However, the market does present several challenges. For example, reimbursement laws across some European regions, such as France, compel reimbursement to be cut by half if the equipment is older than five years, forcing some hospitals to purchase new equipment. Moreover, regulations in certain countries such as Romania and Bulgaria restrict hospitals from purchasing old equipment using state funded loans. Because almost all public hospitals are covered by the state, they opt for new systems over refurbished models.

“Government regulations that have restricted the purchase of used equipment in some regions are expected to ease following the rapid acceptance of refurbished systems globally,” added Mr. Madanagopal. “With governments relaxing their regulations, the scope for these systems in the public sector will grow.”

According to Frost & Sullivan, the European refurbished medical imaging equipment market earned revenue of USD 417.6 million in 2012, and is estimated to reach USD 582.3 million in 2019.

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