Greece’s market for medical technology has grown by an average of 13.7% over the past six years and imports account for over 96% of total demand. In 2008, demand in the sector stood at around EUR 886m, a year-on-year increase of 12.5%. While exports of medical technology dropped slightly, imports and local production registered double-digit growth. Production value was nearly EUR 44m and imports amounted to some EUR 888m. The only significant areas of local production were dental prostheses, syringes, infusion bags and small auxiliary appliances.
The country’s public healthcare sector is in dire need of investments. As an incentive, a number of public-private partnerships have been launched in recent years. In addition to building new hospitals, such projects include privatising hospital management. In 2007, EUR 1.1 bn were set aside for this purpose. In response to shortcomings in public-sector provision, private-sector providers have opened a number of diagnostic centres in recent years and private clinics are investing heavily. For example, the Hygeia group, one of the sector’s largest, has announced an investment programme amounting to some EUR 80m for 2009/10.
Market research company Hellastat reports that the sector’s 342 companies generated sales of around EUR 1.9 bn in 2008, an increase of roughly 8% compared with 2007. More than 60% of companies reported higher sales, although pre-tax profits only grew by 4% to EUR 344m. Other sources put the number of Greek medical technology companies at 280, employing some 7,000 workers. Most are subsidiaries of international corporations and work closely with foreign production facilities. They often operate both as importers and sales offices. Several medical technology companies also import components that are assembled in Greece. Around 85% of local companies engaged in the sector are small or medium-sized businesses.
|Leading medical technology companies in Greece (sales in million euro)|
|Company||Sales (2008)||Web address|
Demand for foreign orthopaedic technology and prostheses is particularly high in Greece, with imports totalling some EUR 357m, of which Germany accounts for around 9%. Companies interested in contacts in this market should get in touch with the Association of Commercial Agents (www.aaca.gr). Also, “Medic Expo” (www.medicexpo.com), the annual trade show for the sector, will take place in Athens on 23-25 April 2010.