October 13, 2009 - Sustained economic growth since 2003 in Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) has enabled massive increases in healthcare expenditures with an astounding $500 billion spent in 2009 alone, reports Millennium Research Group (MRG), a medical technology market research company.
One effect has been improved access to diagnostic imaging scanners. Findings from MRG's newest series of global diagnostic imaging reports reveal that the BRIC economies will fuel much of the growth occurring in the global market for diagnostic imaging systems throughout the recession and beyond.
The BRIC nations have not been as affected by the economic downturn. As a result, the BRIC governments are still concentrating on longer-term
initiatives to improve their healthcare infrastructure. For example, in 2006, the Russian National Health Program was implemented; one of the central priorities of the program is to equip hospitals with up-to-date medical equipment, and since the launch of the initiative, over $9 billion has been earmarked for spending. Through the program, many Russian facilities have been able to upgrade existing systems and replace obsolete imaging technology. It has also enabled hospitals to purchase advanced systems, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.
"While Russia has concentrated on a widespread renewal, Brazil, India, and China have focused on improving quality and access to healthcare,
particularly in smaller cities and rural areas. A top priority for this
funding is the acquisition of newer medical equipment, such as imaging
scanners," says Ravindra Sharma, senior analyst at MRG. "With huge latent demand for imaging systems and increasing availability of government funds, patient care is vastly improving. Diagnostic imaging vendors have embraced these opportunities as they search for revenue streams beyond the U.S. where credit constraint and reimbursement uncertainty have heavily impeded sales. Leading suppliers including GE Healthcare, Philips Healthcare, and Siemens Healthcare are working with the BRIC governments much more often through partnerships and jointly funded projects, successfully supporting the ongoing demand in these regions."